Ecuador tells US to leave base

Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorean president, had long opposed US military presence.

    Correa has said repeatedly that the agreement
    would not be renewed [AFP]

    Ecuador's foreign ministry said it had formally notified the US embassy of the decision and and the withdrawal of foreign personnel from the Ecuadorean air force base would end in November.

    'No alternative base'

    US military officials have said that it is not planning to set up an alternative to the base in either neighbouring Colombia or in Peru.

    The US government has also previously said that it would respect Ecuador's decision over the future of the base.

    A draft constitution backed by Correa and recently approved by a special assembly, abolishes any foreign military bases on Ecuadorean soil.

    However, the draft charter must still be approved by voters in a referendum.

    Ecuador produces little cocaine itself but is often used as a transit country for drugs sent from Colombia and Peru - the world's top two cocaine producers to the US.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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