United States to start withdrawal from the Manta military base

17.07.2009 - Quito - Prensa Latina

by Leovani Garcia Olivarez

This Friday, US military activities came to an end at the base which is to be handed over to Ecuadorian authorities on the 18th of September, recently reported the Minister of Defence, Javier Ponce.

This is the start of the end of the agreement, “in which operations are ceased”, after which there will be a period of time until the installation is physically handed back, he pointed out.

Ponce recalled that a process of dialogue with Pentagon representatives and the details of the transfer of the anti-drug-trafficking surveillance centre, after the decision by Ecuador to not renew the agreement for which the base was established 10 years ago.

He clarified that the struggle against drug-trafficking will not stop, as there are six unmanned planes, four radars and eight speedboats to carry out this activity and take care of the defence of national sovereignty.

To these measures will be added 24 Supertucano combat aircraft made in Brazil will arrive towards the end of the year.

“With the departure of the United States, Ecuador will recover sovereignty over a part of her national territory that was unconstitutionally handed over by President Jamil Mahuad on the 12th of November 1999, in the midst of an economic, social and political crisis that the country was then going through,” an official communiqué reported.

Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, ruled out signing a renewal of the agreement for the US to use this installation for another 10 years which obliged the foreign troops to leave the country.

Categories: International issues, South America

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