Kyrgyzstan interim leader: US base will stay

April 13, 2010 7:24:25 AM PDT
Kyrgyzstan's interim leader tells The Associated Press that her government will extend the lease of a U.S. air base key to the war in Afghanistan. Roza Otunbayeva told the Associated Press that the agreement allowing the Manas base will be automatically extended when the current one-year deal expires in July. She did not say how long the extension would last.

The U.S. base at the capital's international airport provides refueling flights for warplanes over Afghanistan and is a transit point for troops.

Otunbayeva also said her government is offering security guarantees for deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his family if he steps down and leaves the country. Bakiyev fled the capital last week during an uprising that killed 83.