24 August 2009The US Embassy in Uzbekistan dismissed on Saturday Russian media reports that the visit of top US military commander General David Petraeus included talks on establishing a US base in the country.
"Information in the press about discussions on a military base does not correspond with reality," an embassy spokesman told RIA Novosti.
The spokesman said the head of the US Central Command, which covers the Middle East and Central Asia, met with the Uzbek defense minister to discuss the security situation in the region, particularly Afghanistan.
The United States has more than 60,000 troops in the country, which borders Uzbekistan.
"Uzbek Defense Minister Kabul Berdiyev and General David Petraeus also signed an agreement on a program of military contacts, including carrying out educational exchanges and training in the future," the spokesman said.
The United States maintained an airbase in Uzbekistan from 2001 until 2005, and there was speculation earlier this year it would try to return to the country when it looked like US forces would have to leave neighboring Kyrgyzstan.