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Manas Rent Hike Gets Reduced: The ongoing tiff over the rent at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas Air Base between US officials and Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev took a turn in America’s favor, after recent meetings. According to the London Financial Times, Bakiyev has agreed to reduce his demand. Previously threatening to increase the yearly payments from $2.7 million to $200 million, a government source tells the newspaper that Kyrgyz officials have given the impression that they would be willing to accept as little as $15 million if the rent was teamed with an aid and investment package. Manas serves as a key way station for coalition operations in Afghanistan. More negotiations seem to be coming.