US military base contract in Ecuador not to be renewed

March 20th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by admin  

Quito (Ecuador), March 20 (Xinhua) The US military’s contract for renting the Manta base in Ecuador will not be renewed after it expires in 2009. Ecuador’s constituent assembly voted to outlaw the installation of foreign military bases in the country Wednesday, four days after President Rafael Correa announced that he would not allow such bases on Ecuadorian soil as of 2009.

The US has expressed interest in renewing the lease for the base, which it has been using since 1999.

The vote has made it impossible for the US military to continue using the base on the coast of Manabi province, 249 km southwest of the capital Quito.

Ecuadorian Defence Minister Wellington Sandoval said an audit on the Manta base would be carried out after meeting with assembly members.

The assembly is currently drafting a new constitution for the country.

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