THe UNited States is confident that its troops can continue using a key air base in Kyrgyzstan despite the unstable situation in the Central Asian country, according to a media report. Since last week's large-scale anti-government demonstration ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, heads a transitional government. Kyrgyzstan is home to a key U.S. air base in Manas, which is used to fly troops and equipment in and out of Afghanistan. "Everything I have been able to see or read suggests that there is a willingness to leave Manas open and to continue allowing our use out of it along the lines of the terms of the agreement," Gates was quoted as saying by the Armed Forces' press service. He added, however, that Washington has other options to supply its troops in Afghanistan. "There are other alternatives," to Manas, Gates said. "I don't want to get into the details but there are other approaches and facilities that we can use." A country of 5 million located in the mountains of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries of the former Soviet Union. Unlike its neighbors, Kyrgyzstan has no significant natural resources; more than half of the adult population is unemployed and its political system has been marred by instability and corruption. Bakiyev rose to power on the wings of the 2005 Tulip Revolution but hopes for more democracy and stability soon faded when he cracked down on the opposition and he allegedly amassed riches as the population suffered. Observers are worried that a civil war could break out between Bakiyev's supporters and the opposition.