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Colombian court suspends US military base deal

Colombian court suspends US military base deal
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A deal giving US troops more access to bases in Colombia has been suspended after a court in the Latin American country declared it unconstitutional.

The agreement must now be redrafted as an international treaty and sent to Congress for approval.

Colombia’s Defence Minister Rodrigo Rivera said the government would study the Constitutional Court ruling. But he stressed the close cooperation between Bogota and Washington in what he called “affairs of security and defence and particularly in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.”

It was with the stated aim of strengthening these operations that the pact, giving US troops access to seven bases, was signed last year. But the prospect of an increased US military presence in the region incensed Colombia’s leftist neighbours Ecuador and Venezuela.

With a large majority in Congress, Colombia’s new government has every chance of getting a redrafted deal approved.