Uzbekistan bans foreign military bases on its land

By REUTERS
August 2, 2012 15:03

 
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ALMATY - Uzbekistan is moving to ban foreign military bases on its territory, local media reported on Thursday, ending speculation it could allow the United States to reopen a base for operations in neighboring Afghanistan.

However, some analysts said the ban might not prevent military cooperation with the United States, which could still use Uzbek facilities for special-forces operations to fight the Afghan Taliban or other regional threats.

The ban is part of a major foreign-policy document proposed by President Islam Karimov, which was approved by the lower house of parliament this week. It was the first such document since Uzbekistan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and the Senate is expected to pass it this month.

Uzbekistan, a mainly Muslim Central Asian nation, evicted a US military air base from Karshi-Khanabad as ties with Washington and the European Union soured following the government's suppression of an uprising in the town of Andizhan in May 2005.

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