Kyrgyz Committee Passes Bill to Shut Key U.S. Base

The Kyrgyz parliament's defense committee has approved a bill to close a U.S. air base that is important for coalition operations in Afghanistan.

The committee's support Monday brought Kyrgyzstan a step closer to evicting U.S. forces from the Manas base.

The Central Asian nation's Cabinet submitted the bill to parliament last week after the president announced the base would be closed. Approval by the full parliament is required for a final decision, and a vote is expected later this week.

Parliament is dominated by the main pro-presidential party and is likely to pass the bill.

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The loss of Manas could be a serious blow to President Barack Obama's plan to bolster the U.S. force amid growing violence in Afghanistan.

Kyrgyzstan must give the U.S. six months notice of eviction.