QUITO, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said on Tuesday that "there is no, nor will there be, a foreign military base in the country," especially on the Galapagos Islands, which are of great scientific value.
Moreno showed his commitment in a tweet to preserving the Galapagos Islands and confirmed his government's stance after the country's Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin said the Galapagos Islands are a "natural aircraft carrier" when commenting on an air-maritime assistance agreement between Ecuador and the United States.
"Aerial surveillance is a joint activity among several countries as a means to care for this world heritage," the president said on Twitter, adding "peace, sovereignty and national security are our legacy."
In 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the Galapagos Islands a World Heritage Site.
In 1985, Ecuador declared the islands a biosphere reserve, and in 2001 surrounding waters were also included as a marine reserve.