05:21 GMT +313 November 2019
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    US B1 bomber (L) and tanker aircraft KC135R and KC1O are seen in the air base, in Moron de la Frontera, on March 18, 2011, near Sevilla

    Spain to Extend US Military Presence at Southern Air Base

    © AFP 2019 / CRISTINA QUICLER
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    Spain government will authorize the presence of a US Marine Corps contingent at an air base in the south of the country for a third consecutive year.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The government of Spain will authorize the presence of a US Marine Corps contingent at an air base in the south of the country for a third consecutive year, El Pais Spanish-language daily reported.

    In 2013, 550 US Marines were temporarily stationed at Moron base in Andalusia for rapid response missions against militants in neighboring Africa. In 2014, Spain extended the agreement by one year and agreed to increase the total number of US soldiers to 850.

    The Spanish government will extend the current interim agreement, set to expire April 19, for one more year due to a lengthy negotiation process outlining the rules for a permanent US base, the news outlet reported.

    According to the newspaper, Madrid and Washington have been in talks over the US request for a permanent Marine presence at the Moron base with a maximum number of 3500 soldiers. Talks are progressing slowly and require complicated parliamentary approval procedures, the media reported.

    In February, US President Barack Obama proposed a budget that includes $789 million to maintain and expand the US military presence in Europe.

    According to the US Defense Manpower Data Center, about 66,000 US soldiers are currently deployed in European countries.

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    air base, US Marine Corps, United States, Spain
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