Uzbekistan’s defence doctrine does not stipulate the deployment of foreign military bases in the country, the press service of the Uzbek Defence Ministry said on Monday, when asked to comment on reports about the US looking for options to redeploy its Afghan contingent after the American troops withdraw from the South Asian nation.
The spokesperson also underlined that Uzbekistan’s defence policy is based on the principle of non-participation in peacekeeping operations and military conflicts abroad.
At the same time, the sources admitted that Russia’s alleged military presence in the region and Chinas growing influence there “complicate plans” for any US deployments in Central Asia.
The White House started working to bolster security ties with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union in late 1991.
Washington rotated some 7,000 US troops at the Karshi-Khanabad airfield in southern Uzbekistan between 2001 and 2005, forces that were then redeployed to the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan. US service personnel vacated the base in 2014, in line with a 2011 decree by then-Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev.
As for the 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden announced plans to withdraw the forces from the South…