Pentagon chief: Goal of my visit to Bishkek was to affirm our relationship
22/03-2012 09:12, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Zhanna KHUSAINOVA
“The visit to Bishkek gave me the chance to meet with Kyrgyz leaders for the first time, and my goal was to affirm our relationship and thank them for their support of the Manas Transit Center,” the U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in his personal account of his trip to Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates. This was reported by the web-site of the U.S. Department of Defense.
As Leon Panetta states, the Manas Transit Center has great importance for “sustaining our efforts in Afghanistan, and provides us with the ability to move personnel in and out of the war zone, to execute aerial refueling sorties, and to transport air cargo in and out of theater”.
Leon Panetta notes that Kyrgyzstan and its Central Asian neighbors are “key links in the logistical supply lines into Afghanistan known as the Northern Distribution Network, which has proven extremely important in recent months”.
“For me the visit underscored that the United States shares a number of important interests with our Central Asian partners, chief among them a secure and stable Afghanistan so that the broader region can be peaceful and benefit from expanded trade and development,” Leon Panetta said in his report.
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