The Kyrgyz government has officially notified Washington that American forces must vacate an air base outside the capital Bishkek. The eviction notice was delivered to the US Embassy in Bishkek on February 20, according to a Kyrgyz foreign ministry statement.
The Embassy did not explicitly acknowledge receipt of the eviction notice. An embassy statement merely noted that the US government remains "in contact with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Manas air base continues to operate under existing agreements in support of Coalition efforts in Afghanistan."
The news came as a senior US military commander, Rear Admiral Mark Harnitchek, announced that Tajikistan had consented to join the new northern supply network for non-lethal goods bound for Afghanistan. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
"Tajikistan has given permission to use its railways and roads for the transit of non-military cargoes to Afghanistan. We plan to transport 50 to 200 containers every week from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan and further to Afghanistan," Harnitchek said after meeting Tajik Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khamrokhon Zarifi, on February 20, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.