Kyrgyzstan votes to end US lease of airbase

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Kyrgyzstan has voted to end the United States’ lease on an airbase key to supplying military operations in nearby Afghanistan.

Lawmakers in the mountainous Central Asian republic voted 91-5 Thursday in favor of ending the agreement in June 2014 to lease the Manas Transit Center. The bill will come into force when it is signed by President Almazbek Atambayev, who has repeatedly pledged to end the lease.

The move comes despite U.S. expectations that the base would remain in exchange for higher rent. The United States pays $60 million annually for the base.

All U.S. troops moving in and out of Afghanistan travel through Manas. Large numbers of troops are set to flow through the facility as part of the withdrawal of most international troops next year.

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