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Ecuador orders departure of 20 U.S. military members

20 U.S. military personnel were ordered to depart Ecuador by President Rafael Correa, a decision the U.S. Embassy in Quito "respected" while at the same time hinting that the move could impact future bilateral relations.
By JC Finley   |   April 28, 2014 at 3:56 PM   |   Comments

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QUITO, Ecuador, April 28 (UPI) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa ordered the expulsion of 20 U.S. military members, citing concerns about their interference in domestic affairs.

U.S. Embassy Quito spokesman Jeffrey Weinshenker emphasized the success of the bilateral military relationship, noting "Our close military cooperation over the past four decades has produced major advances in the fight against drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and other transnational crimes."

While the U.S. would respect the "sovereign decision of the government of Ecuador," the embassy spokesman conceded that Correa's decision could impact future bilateral relations.

In December, Correa had expressed dismay over the "very high number" of U.S. military officers in Ecuador, and had been threatening to reduce the foreign military presence for months.

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