US airbase closure not to hit Afghan supplies: NATO

February 20th, 2009 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Krakow (Poland), Feb 20 (Xinhua) Kyrgyzstan’s decision to close an airbase used by the US to lift supplies to its troops in Afghanistan “will have not direct effect” on NATO, an official said.
The Manas base in Kyrgyzstan is used by the US and some other NATO allies, but not by NATO, said its spokesman James Appathurai. “So this has no direct effect on the alliance.”

He said there is plenty of flexibility in the logistical supply chain for NATO and for NATO allies.

About 80 percent of supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan go through Pakistan and that supply route remains intact. Besides, NATO has full stockpiles inside Pakistan, Appathurai said at an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers.

“It is an inconvenience for allies and one decision to regret. But we can certainly absorb it,” he said.

The Kyrgyz parliament Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the cancellation of the lease agreement with the US of the Manas base, a key supply transit point for US troops in Afghanistan.

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