Edition 1424
20 May 2017
Edition: 1424

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Azores calls for Lisbon to step in amid deadlock on Lajes base

by TPN/ Lusa, in Regional · 18-05-2017 15:34:00 · 0 Comments

The Azores regional premier, Vasco Cordeiro, has expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of progress made on the status of the Lajes military base on Terceira island at the latest bilateral meeting between Portugal and the US, held in Washington, and has called for the government in Lisbon to take action.

Azores calls for Lisbon to step in amid deadlock on Lajes base

“An intervention is above all necessary by the government of the Republic, which has the responsibility and the competence to, before the government of the United States, let them know that the way that this subject is being dealt with does not satisfy us,” Cordeiro said in a recorded statement sent to Lusa News Agency.
The regional premier earlier took part in Washington in the 37th meeting of the Permanent Bilateral Commission between Portugal and the US to discuss the reduction of the US presence at the Lajes base.
Cordeiro condemned the lack of progress on payments to fund cleanup operations as the US military gradually moves out.
“We need a faster procedure to be adopted, with more measures, so that this environmental component can be resolved more quickly,” he said, adding that his government viewed this as “the main subject” at present.
At the meeting, Cordeiro submitted a proposed timetable for measures to be taken in this area, but this was not accepted by US officials, he reported. As a result, “I took the chance to let them know that we cannot accept this way of dealing with the subject.”
However, the premier said that the meeting “made it possible to take stock of the situation in relation to a range of subjects that over time have developed positively”, such as the institution of a programme of voluntary redundancies for local people employed at the Lajes base, rather than dismissing them willy-nilly.
As well as Cordeiro, those taking part in Thursday’s meeting included the director-general of foreign policy at Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Duarte Lopes, and - for the US - the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department, Conrad Robert Tribble.

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Edition 1424
20 May 2017
Edition: 1424

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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