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Kyrgyzstan's Refusal to Allow US AWACS 'One of the Reasons' of Tulip Revolution

© Flickr / Alex J. ButlerBishkek
Bishkek - Sputnik International
Kyrgyzstan's refusal to allow the United States deploy its Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft in the country's Bishkek Manas International Airport was one of the reasons behind the subsequent 2005 Tulip Revolution, former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Akayev served as Kyrgyzstan's president in 1990-2005. He was ousted from power in 2005 by the Tulip Revolution and currently resides in Russia.

"Department of State representatives suggested in 2004 to allow AWACS in the Manas airport. A special assistant to the secretary [of state] arrived to discuss this operation…Of course we could not allow this. Our answer was strictly negative. It was not negotiable…That was one of the reasons they planned the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan," Akayev said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Thursday.

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AWACS, also known as Boeing E-3 Sentry, are aircraft used by NATO countries, including the United States, to conduct all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications.

The US military's Transit Center at Manas was established in 2001 near Kyrgyzytan's capital Bishkek to support military operations and deliver personnel and equipment to Afghanistan. It was closed and handed to Kyrgyzstan in 2014 on the demand of Kyrgyz authorities.

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