L.A Times | 7/16/2009 12:00:00 AM
U.S., Colombia work on deal for air bases
Jul 16--The Pentagon has to find a new site for anti-drug flight operations after Ecuador declined to extend the lease at Manta.
"We are deepening cooperation agreements that already exist in our common struggle against narco-trafficking and terrorism," said Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez, who framed the accord as a means of making the war on drugs more "efficient and stronger."
U.S. Embassy officials declined to comment, but a source who asked not to be named, citing the sensitivity of the issue, said the agreement could be ready by mid-August. Colombia annually receives more than $500 million in mostly military aid under Plan Colombia, the U.S. program to combat terrorism and drugs
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