Under the headline "A Kyrgyz interim leader says US base unjustified," the Associated Press has a story suggesting that the U.S.'s air base in Kyrgyzstan, Manas, may be imperiled:
Azymbek Beknazarov — a deputy head of the interim government that came to power last week after a bloody uprising — told the AP that Washington compromised its position on promoting democracy in Kyrgyzstan so as not to put the strategic Manas transit center under threat of closure. "All the Americans care about is that the military base stays," Beknazarov said. "They forgot about freedom, about democratic values. They forgot about Kyrgyzstan — they are only looking at their military base." "In my opinion, the Manas center's presence is not justified," he said.
Now, it's hard to know what to make of that. The whole import of his quote turns on one word: "unjustified," which isn't really the clearest word you might use. In addition, we don't know much about the context of the quote, or his role in the government. Still, suggests that perhaps there is at least some internal debate among the leaders of Kyrgyzstan about what to do with Manas.
Joshua Kucera, a senior correspondent, is Eurasianet's former Turkey/Caucasus editor and has written for the site since 2007.