WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States and Spain have signed an amendment to the Bilateral Agreement on Defense Cooperation that allows a permanent US Marine Corps presence at Spain’s Moron Air Base, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press release on Wednesday.
“We are very grateful to our Spanish allies and partners and friends for this agreement,” Blinken said after signing the amendment.
“We are more than happy to give this cooperation,” Spain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ignacio Ibanez said.
After the 2012 terrorist attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, the United States asked Spain to enable the Moron base to be used as a rapid response staging area in emergency situations in Africa.
Initially, Madrid allowed 550 US marines to be based at the base. In 2014, Spain extended the mandate and agreed to increase the total number of US personnel to 850.