Forces: December 6, 1999

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PANAMA; 30 NOV: The US Army handed over Fort Clayton, the last US military base in Panama. The US Army had maintained bases in Panama for 88 years. While every poll has shown that the Panamanian people want the US military to remain, Panamanian President Mireye Moscoso said she would not even consider negotiating a continuing US military presence. About 300 US military personnel remain in Panama; these will be steadily reduced until the final few dozen take part in the final ceremony at mid-day on 31 Dec. During World War II, the US kept about 65,000 troops in Panama to guard against German or Japanese spies and commandos. During the post-war period, about 10,000 US troops remained until the draw down began in the mid-90s.--Stephen V Cole

The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council ended their three-day summit on 30 Nov with a statement denouncing Iraq for aggression an the Iraqi government for brutalizing its own people. The statement noted that Iraq continued to refuse any and all initiatives to get the international embargo lifted (i.e., Iraq refused to make any concessions). Iraqi newspapers and television quickly denounced the statement as "written by the US" and said that Saudi King Fahd "looked comatose" at the summit.--Stephen V Cole

 


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