Spain approves permanent US military base

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Spanish government agrees to host permanent military presence of US for its Africa mission

MADRID – The Spanish government approved an agreement Friday to host a permanent military presence of the U.S.’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in the southern province of Seville, Spanish officials said.

The U.S. currently has 850 soldiers in Moron de la Frontera military base since 2013, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said in a press conference on Friday.

Washington will be able to use the base permanently and deploy 2,200 soldiers and 500 civil personnel with the new agreement, the deputy prime minister said.

She added that the U.S. will be able to deploy 26 airplane carriers and will invest 29 million euros in the base, providing employment opportunities.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to pay his first official visit to Spain’s capital Madrid on May 31-June 1 to sign the agreement during talks with his counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

For the deal to come into effect, the parliaments of both countries must approve it.

Kerry also will meet with Spain’s King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during his trip.

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