Regional alliance wants U.S.-led forces withdrawal from Central Asia

Shanghai Cooperation Organization grouping Russia, China and Central Asian countries on Tuesday called for the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition in Afghanistan to set a time frame for withdrawing its forces from member states.

Both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan host U.S. bases whose troops are involved in the Afghanistan operation.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, at a summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, said in a declaration that a withdrawal date should be announced in light of the decline of active fighting in Afghanistan.

"We support and will support the international coalition which is carrying out an anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan and we have taken note of the progress made in the effort to stabilize the situation," the declaration said, reports the AP.

"As the active military phase in the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, the SCO would like the coalition's members to decide on the deadline for the use of the temporary infrastructure and for their military contingents' presence in those countries," it said.

The statement appears to reflect growing uneasiness with the U.S. presence and increasing concerns that the United States is encouraging the export of "color" revolutions to Central Asia countries.

On Friday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Hu Jiantao signed the Joint Declaration on the International Order in the 21st Century, a declaration reaffirming China and Russia's call for respecting international law and establishing a stronger U.N. role internationally.


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