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Portugal summons US ambassador over air base staff cuts

US Air Force planes at the Base das Lajes, a US military base in the Portuguese archipelago of Azores, in March 2003Portugal said Thursday it had summoned the US ambassador to protest against Washington’s plans to reduce the number of Portuguese employees at a US air base in Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores islands. The US ambassador to Portugal, Roberto Sherman, was told during the meeting on Wednesday that Washington should wait until an upcoming meeting between officials from the two countries before going ahead with the staff cuts, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The United States on Monday notified Portugal that it would lay off some of the 900 civilian Portuguese workers at its Lajes base on Terceira Island in the Azores.

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