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12 Mar, 2009 09:05

Georgia ready to host a US base

Georgia ready to host a US base

Georgia is ready to consider hosting a US military base if it gets such a proposal from the American Administration, Georgia’s Foreign Minister said.

Grigol Vashadze, who is now paying a four-day visit to Japan, made the announcement in an interview to the Japanese Nikkei newspaper, Itar-Tass news agency reports.

“Currently we do not have consultations on this issue with the US, but we are ready to consider it seriously,” Vashadze said.

In February 2009 Bishkek notified the US that Kyrgyzstan is going to close its Manas airbase, and that the American troops have 180 days to vacate the premises.

After that there were reports in some media that the US was looking for a substitution.

In addition, Georgia is said by American officials “to be eagerly seeking a role in supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan – as it desires alliance membership, and protection, and wants to do all it can to bind itself to the Atlantic alliance,”the New York Times newspaper has reported.

Vashadze's announcement comes the next day after the president of Georgia’s neighbour, the Republic of South Ossetia, has declared that the country’s authorities decided to allow the Russian military and border guards’ bases to stay on their territory for 99 years.

Since Georgia attacked South Ossetia in August 2008, their mutual relations remain extremely tense. The same concerns Tbilisi’s stance towards Moscow, with which it broke off diplomatic relations in September 2008.

Georgia cited Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and actions during the Georgia-South Ossetia as the main reasons for the move.