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Asia Crisis

US and Kyrgyzstan draft new air base deal - source

(Adds details and background)

BISHKEK, June 23 (Reuters) - The United States and Kyrgyzstan have drafted a proposed new agreement for U.S. forces to carry on using the Manas air base for operations in Afghanistan, a Kyrgyz government source said on Tuesday.

Parliament would start reviewing the proposed deal later on Tuesday, said the source, who declined to be named.

"The government today submitted to parliament an agreement with the United States government on creating a transit centre to provide logistics support for operations in Afghanistan," the source said. In February, Kyrgyzstan said it would shut down the base outside the capital Bishkek by August after securing pledges of $2 billion in aid and credit from Russia, which operates its own air base in the mainly Muslim Central Asian country.

Manas is home to about 1,000 U.S. personnel and serves as a key refuelling point for aircraft used in military operations in nearby Afghanistan. (Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Ralph Gowling)

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