MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) -The United States is in negotiations to open a new military base in southern Uzbekistan that would bring $1 billion to the Uzbek budget annually, uzmetronom.com reported Wednesday.
“According to experts familiar with the situation, the main goal of a high-ranking American visitor, with the ranking of general, is to attain Uzbekistan’s consent to deploy an American contingent and military equipment, including aviation, in the Uzbek city of Termez, which is just across the Amu Darya River from Afghanistan,” the online newspaper reported commenting on the visit of the commander of the US Central Command Army, General Lloyd Austin, to Uzbekistan.
The US is ready to pay Uzbekistan $1 billion annually, according to uzmetronom.com.
Uzbekistan hosted an American air base in Karshi Khanabad as a staging ground for combat, reconnaissance and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan in 2001. However, in 2005, Tashkent evicted US personnel from the air base after the US criticized the Uzbek government for its Andijan anti-terrorist operation.
Since 2001, Germany has used the civilian airport in Termez as a “trampoline” into Afghanistan. The base houses several hundred servicemen who provide logistics for dispatching and receiving aircraft with cargo and troops.