Day 80, January 18, 2009
TAJIKISTAN ON A SUNDAY
General Petraeus reached an agreement with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon to use his country as a location for transit carriage of commercial cargo to Afghanistan.
His next and final stop on this four-nation tour will be Krygyzstan where the US has its only base in Central Asia, after the one in Uzbekistan was shut. Last month Russia had been murmuring loudly about US intentions to plant more bases in these former Soviet Republics.
This was according to information received and revealed by Russia's top military man, General Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the military's general staff, and one of the things General Petraeus has been doing on this trip to to put to sleep that rumour to set the Russians at ease.
“We intend to promote further existence of our airbase at Manas and no changes are foreseen,” the USCENTCOM chief said, adding that those efforts of the United States are in the interest of the countries of the region.