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    US MILITARY BASES IN EUROPE TO BE REDUCED, SAYS US STATE SECRETARY

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    MOSCOW, January 27th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Protasenko) -- The number of the US military bases in Europe will be reduced, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

    "The remaining forces will be deployed more rationally, and these bases will be only temporary facilities for transporting troops to the hotbeds of tension - the Middle East and Iraq, Powell pointed out.

    The United States is not building up its military force, the Secretary of State stressed.

    Colin Powell also reported that the United States is not going to return the Guantanamo military sea base, where captive militants of the Afghan Taliban movement are kept, to Cuba.

    The United States has been renting the Cuban Guantanamo base since 1903.

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