Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

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Azores premier to attend Washington meeting as US scales back Lajes

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 11-05-2017 15:19:00 · 0 Comments

The premier of Portugal’s Azores region, Vasco Cordeiro, on Thursday took part in Washington in the 37th meeting of the Permanent Bilateral Commission between Portugal and the US with a view to discussing the reduction of the latter’s presence at the Lajes military base on Terceira island.

Azores premier to attend Washington meeting as US scales back Lajes

The US air force has already begun reducing military personnel at the base, and let go hundreds of local workers, on an island whose economy has long relied heavily on the facility.
Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, told Lusa News Agency that as well as political and diplomatic relations between the two countries, the future of the Lajes base and defence cooperation in generalwith the Azores were on the agenda for the meeting. Details were still unknown at the time of going to press.
He also cited the ‘blue economy’ - maritime industries and sciences - research and innovation as other topics for discussion in the context of “exploring new opportunities of cooperation with a focus on the Atlantic.”
As well as Cordeiro, other participants at the meeting were the Portuguese ministry’s director-general of foreign policy, Francisco Duarte Lopes, and for the US the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department, Conrad Robert Tribble.
Earlier this week, Cordeiro said that Azoreans cannot be left to clean up any mess left by the US military when it all but leaves Lajes.
“That job... has to be done by the US and our own country,” the regional premier said. “That’s another way of saying that we can’t let the environmental bill be passed on to Azoreans and the Azores.”
Cordeiro said he was “very cautious” as to the prospect of a positive outcome from Thursday’s meeting, and that his presence was aimed at “showing the urgency” that the regional government attributes to the environmental issue.

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Edition 1442
23 September 2017
Edition: 1442

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

Twitter