NEW KYRGYZ PRESIDENT URGES U.S. AIRBASE CLOSURE
Kyrgyzstan's President-elect Almazbek Atambayev has called for the closure of the United States' airbase at Manas in the central Asian republic, RIA Novosti reported.
"I don't think the base at Manas guarantees the security of our country. I would not want to see another country carry out a retaliatory strike against the base. A civil airport is a civil object, and it should remain so," he said.
Kyrgyzstan "would observe all international agreements," he stressed, but when the current Manas base agreement expires in 2014, the American facility there should go.
Kyrgyzstan could set up a transport hub for Afghanistan for "passage of civilian traffic, maybe together with Russia," Atambayev said.
"There is no political game here. It's not really very good to arrive at the country's main airport and see military equipment there," he said at his first press conference after preliminary presidential election results were announced on Sunday, October 30.
With 99.96 percent of the ballots counted on Sunday, Atambayev won the election with 63.24 percent of the vote. His nearest rival was the leader of the United Kyrgyzstan party Adakhan Madumarov, with 14.76 percent.
The Manas base was set up near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in America to support military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The facility remains key to supply operations for the ongoing military campaign there.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov has said previously that the future of the base as a transit point for U.S. military cargo should be decided by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a grouping of Central Asian states including several former Soviet Republics.
- 1781 Treaty of Reconciliation signed between King Heraklion the Second of Georgia and Yerevan's khan.
- 1808 Major-general Nebolsin occupies Nakhichevan.
- 1864 The "Haykakan Ashkharh" periodical is published by Khoren Stepanyan in Tbilissi.
- 1871 Birth of Alexander Spandiaryan (composer). He died in 1928.
- 1877 The border areas of Ghars are reorganized and split up as the districts of Kars, Ardahan, Karzvan, and Olti.
- 1881 Opening of Yerevan's Teacher's College.
- 1899 Death of the political figure, Serob Aghbyur (Serob Vardanyan).
- 1901 The battle of the Monastery of the Apostles in Western Armenia. Andranik's detachment fought off attacks by Turkish army units.
- 1911 Birth of writer Henri Troyat.
- 1928 The second State Drama Theatre of Armenia opens in Leninakan.
- 1930 The Council of People's Commissars renames the Institute of Science and Art of the Armenian SSR to the Institute of Sciences.
- 1998 The Minsk Group prepares a proposal for the comprehensive settlement of the Artsakh conflict. Artsakh and Armenia accept this as a basis for negotiations. Azerbaijan rejects them and asserts its preconditions for the negotiations.
- 1999 The OSCE Istanbul Summit urges trilateral negotiations in the Artsakh crisis and refuses to reaffirm the language of the 1996 Lisbon summits non-binding statement by the Chairman of that conference.