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President Correa was in Spain on Friday and made no public comment about the issue. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino also was in Europe, a ministry official said, saying only Mr. Patino could comment.Shortly after taking office in 2007, Correa purged Ecuador's military of officers deemed to have close relations with US counterparts. He also ended an agreement with Washington that allowed US drug interdiction flights to be based at the Ecuadorean airfield in Manta.The US Embassy spokesman said the military group being expelled has 20 Defense Department employees, not all of them uniformed.Mr. Weinshenker said Washington provided $7 million in security assistance to Ecuador last year, including technical training for maintaining aircraft and cooperation in combating drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism. Building relationships with counterparts in partner nations' militaries is a big part of such missions, particularly as US commercial influence ebbs in the region.