Vitaly Orozaliyev, the head of Kyrgyzstan’s state drug control service, on Tuesday proposed inspecting the cargoes that transit the U.S. Transit Center at Manas Airport near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, the 24.kg news agency reported.
Orozaliyev said current regulations prohibit inspection of cargoes and officials from the Transit Center, but cited reports the center is used for drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
“The issue of cargo inspections should be raised,” he said at a meeting of the parliamentary law and order committee.
The United States began operations at the Manas base in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to support military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It remains a key supply facility for the ongoing military campaign there.
When Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev assumed his post in December 2011, he stated that Kyrgyzstan would not prolong the lease contract with the United States, which expires in 2014, saying that he did not want to provoke retaliatory strikes against the civilian airport by third countries. Pentagon officials have since been trying to persuade the Kyrgyz authorities to change their mind.