US concerned about Kyrgyz violence

The US has suspended the use of its Kyrgyzstan-based air base Manas as violence continues in the country for the third day now. The base is a major transfer point for troops and supplies heading to Afghanistan.

A NATO representative has said, though, that the decision will not affect supplies to Afghanistan, Itar-Tass reports.

The Kyrgyz provisional government already declared that it intends to observe all the international agreements adopted by Kyrgyzstan, said the head of the Kyrgyz provisional government formed by the opposition, Roza Otunbayeva.

“Its status quo will remain in place,” she said. “We still have some questions on it. Give us time and we will listen to all the sides and resolve everything.”

Kyrgyzstan is in the unique position of hosting military bases for both the United States and Russia.

“This [Manas] is a very important base for the US. In that part of the world, transportation links into Afghanistan are not that good, so the base is pivotal for the US,” said Ivan Eland from the Independent Institute.

Although the leaders of Kyrgyzstan’s opposition movement have called for a closure of the base in the past, Eland indicated that the overthrow of Bakiyev’s regime does not mean an end to Kyrgyz-American cooperation.

“Sometimes rhetoric and reality are different when geopolitics are involved,” said Eland.