TASHKENT, November 21 (RIA Novosti, Abu-Ali Niyazmatov) - A ceremony shutting down a U.S. military base in Khanabad, Uzbekistan was held in the central Asian republic Monday, the Uzbek Defense Ministry's press service said.
A U.S. colonel presented a certificate of appreciation and a U.S. flag to an Uzbek official, the press service said. The last aircraft left the base at 3.40 p.m. Tashkent time (9.40 a.m. GMT).
The Khanabad airbase was set up in 2001 to support the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. More than 1,500 U.S. soldiers were stationed there.
In the summer of 2005, the Uzbek parliament addressed the country's government with a request to withdraw the U.S. base in Khanabad. The parliament members cited the base's negative effect on the environment and the health of locals.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, called on the coalition states to define the timeframe of foreign contingents positioning in the countries and using their infrastructures on July 5.
In late July, Uzbekistan asked the U.S. to withdraw its military contingent from Khanabad.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Infographics: World War I, 1914-1918
If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.