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U.S. gets Kazakhstan's backing



ASTANA, Kazakhstan (CNN) -- Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Monday that his country is prepared to back the United States in its battle against terror.

In an interview with CNN, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan has accepted a request from the United States to grant the use of its air space.

Kazakhstan would also be prepared to provide the use of military bases and airfields if they were asked, Nazarbayev.

The interview was held during Pope John Paul II's historic visit to the huge Soviet republic, slightly less than four times the size of Texas.

The country's leader also said he believes that the leaders of the other Central Asian countries are ready to give similar backing to the United States.

Kazakhstan's southern border is only 200 miles from Afghanistan, base of the militant Osama bin Laden, whom Washington holds responsible for the attacks.

It borders Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.






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