Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov says he will permit U-S and French military planes to use one of Tajikistan's air bases for the anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan.
The Tajik leader told Russia's state-controlled ORT television (Tuesday) foreign combat aircraft will be allowed to use the airfield at Kulyab, some 70 kilometers north of the Afghan border.
Mr. Rakhmonov's decision came after a group of Italian and U-S experts examined the airfield and said it was capable of receiving NATO combat aircraft.
A spokesman for the Tajik Foreign Ministry (Igor Sattarov) says 21 U-S and 38 Italian soldiers are already in the country and 186 French troops are on their way.
Last month, Tajikistan offered three air bases to the anti-terrorist coalition, but said those installations only could be used for humanitarian and rescue operations.
Initially, Tajikistan was reluctant to become too involved in the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan, with which it shares a 12-hundred kilometers border.