Ecuador to US: No FTA, no troops here

Ecuador to US: No FTA, No Troops Here

Caracas, Dec 21 2006 (Prensa Latina) — Ecuador will refrain from signing a free trade agreement with the United States and will not renew the agreement for use of Manta Air Base by the US military, confirmed President-Elect Rafael Correa Thursday.

In an interview with TV Telesur on his visit to Caracas, Correa recalled not signing the free trade agreement was one of the cores of his election campaign.

"The FTA won t be signed because we are going to protect our agricultural sector, which would be swept away by signing that agreement; the Ecuadorian people have overwhelmingly pronounced on that," he explained.

Likewise, he considered the free trade agreements signed by Peru and Colombia as sustained serious obstacles for them in the Andean Community of Nations, as it is against the regulations of the bloc.

Concerning Manta Air Base, the Ecuadorian president-elect explained that in defense of his country s sovereignty his government will not renew the agreement signed by Ecuadorian ex President Jamil Mahuad "in unlimited betrayal."

"Ecuador has the only US base in South America and that treaty expires in 2009 and we have clearly said the agreement won t be renewed," he declared.

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source: Prensa Latina