Ecuador says US troops must leave Manta air base

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The U.S. military must stop using its only outpost in South America for anti-drug flights when Washington’s 10-year lease on the base in Ecuador expires in 2009, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Leftist President Rafael Correa has repeatedly said that Ecuador would not renew the agreement to use the Manta air base, but Tuesday’s Foreign Ministry statement said the South American nation has now formally notified the U.S. Embassy of the decision.

Some 300 U.S. soldiers are stationed at the Pacific base and flights from Manta are responsible for about 60 percent of U.S. drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific.

Read the entire article at the IHT


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