Richard Holbrooke: US has no plans to deploy military base in Uzbekistan
"Uzbekistan was offering the U.S. valuable assistance in cargo transit to Afghanistan but there were no plans to deploy a military base there" Novosti-Kazakshtan quotes Holbrooke, who met on Sunday with Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, currently chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"We have an important cargo transit center at the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan and we are grateful to that country for such assistance" Holbrooke highlighted.
It has to be mentioned that the agreement between USA and Uzbekistan on the use of ex-Soviet Karshi-Khanabad (K2 is American name) was signed in October of 2001 in support of anti-terrorist operation. The first American base in CIS had about 1000 soldiers, transport airplanes of S-17 and S-30 type; some sources also reported there was main attack force with F-15 and F-16 aircrafts.
Khanabad-K2 base. © Expat012
However, in the summer of 2005 US military left the Khanabad airbase. The decision of Uzbek government to shutdown the base was motivated by the fact that the agreement "came to logic end" since, according official US source, "the active phase of military operations in Afghanistan was over in 2002".
Considering the significant improvement of relations between two countries, the rumors about possible return of US military base Uzbekistan have been discussed since the beginning of 2009.