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Uruguay’s Senate Oks law for entry of US planes, personnel

November 15, 2018

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay’s Senate approved a law Thursday allowing U.S. aircraft, military personnel and civilians into the South American country to help provide security for a Group of 20 summit of world leaders in neighboring Argentina.

The measure was passed by a large majority in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday and a slightly different version of the law was approved earlier by the Senate. An amended version of the law was sent back to the Senate and approved unanimously on Thursday.

It authorizes the entry into Uruguay of three U.S. fuel cargo aircraft, two transport aircraft and three AWACS planes as well as 400 U.S. military personnel and civilians who would be the crew and provide support and maintenance.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be among the international leaders who attend the Nov. 30-Dec.1 meeting in Buenos Aires. The G20 is composed of 19 countries and the European Union.

While the bill easily passed in the houses, it divided Uruguay’s leftist ruling Broad Front party. Many lawmakers spoke out against it.

“The armed forces of the United States have not been and will not be welcome in Latin America,” said Constanza Moreira, even though she voted in favor of the law in line with her party’s position.

Others questioned the need to provide such support when Uruguay is not a member of the G20.

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