- - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

KYRGYZSTAN

Outgoing leader: Fate of U.S. base uncertain

BISHKEKKyrgyzstan’s outgoing president said Tuesday a decision on whether to allow a U.S. air base to remain in the country after its lease ends in 2014 depends on developments in nearby Afghanistan.

Roza Otunbayeva favors turning the Manas base at the capital’s main airport into a civilian aviation facility but conceded that drug trafficking poses a security threat to Kyrgyzstan. The United States has used the base as a key logistical hub for military operations in Afghanistan since 2001.


Mrs. Otunbayeva’s successor, Almaz Atambayev, who will take power Thursday, has said the base should be closed.

SYRIA

Turkey considers Iraq as alternative trade route

BEIRUT — Pressure mounted against President Bashar Assad’s regime on Tuesday, as Turkey said it could use Iraq as an alternative trade route.

That would cut out Syria entirely, as Damascus faces broad economic sanctions over its deadly crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising. Activists said security forces killed at least 11 Syrians on Tuesday.

Syria has been a main transit route for Middle East trade, which Damascus hopes will help cushion the effects of tough new sanctions from the Arab League and Turkey.

RUSSIA

Medvedev: New radar shows Russia’s might

MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev commissioned a new military early warning radar Tuesday, saying it shows Russia’s readiness to respond to U.S. missile defense plans.

Russia sees the U.S. missile defense plans in Europe as a security challenge, but Washington has said they are aimed at a potential Iranian missile threat.

CHINA

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