The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, arrives in Ecuador on Wednesday to relaunch the bilateral relationship with the Andean country, which remained distant in the last decade under the government of Rafael Correa (2007-2017).
The second US president is scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, to Quito from Brazil, where he will be received by the head of Ecuadorian diplomacy, José Valencia.
Later he will move to the presidential palace of Carondelet, in the Ecuadorian capital, where a reception will take place with government authorities and the president, Lenin Moreno, with whom he will hold an official meeting and a joint appearance before the media on Thursday.
His visit to Ecuador, the third that a US vice president has made since 1958, is interpreted as a strong signal of the thaw with the Andean country, with which Washington maintained a biased and sometimes tense relationship under the previous Executive for ideological reasons
Moreno, came to power in May last year, has tried to set distance with his predecessor and has set a goal to “refresh international relations” and promote trade with the US, with a negative balance for Ecuador of -922.347 million dollars between January and March of this year, according to the official site ProEcuador.
The Ecuadorian chancellor today trusted that the visit will boost the bilateral ties between both nations in different areas.
Ecuador will soon resume joint military maneuvers and has the largest national population outside the country in the United States.
“We want to activate a broad and positive agenda to which we attach great importance,” Valencia said, according to a statement released today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility.
Valencia reiterated that the commercial plan is “extremely important” and that “there are several points that we must make specific”.
“We believe that this visit is the opportunity for us to advance in commercial issues, in the search for a mechanism, a way of relating that is more stable in the future,” he said, referring to the possibility of negotiating a trade agreement.
The Ecuadorian foreign minister referred in that sense, to the trade agreement signed with the European Union (EU) that has been more than a year and a half since its entry into force, and that has provided the country with beneficial results.
“We believe that we can reach an understanding with the United States, once again to benefit Ecuador, which is what we are looking for, and that the United States also finds benefits,” he added.
Another aspect that will be discussed with Vice President Pence is cooperation in the field of defense and security, an area that the Ecuadorian State has sought to promote, particularly as a result of insecurity on its northern border with Colombia.
“We hope that cooperation in this regard is the most convenient, according to the rules and laws that govern us and the defense and security policy of the Ecuadorian state,” said the foreign minister, referring to the fact that The Ecuadorian Constitution (2008) expressly prohibits the activity of foreign forces or bases in Ecuadorian territory.
For his part, Pence, who is making a regional journey that will also take him to Guatemala, the next destination after Quito, brings the political situation in Venezuela on the agenda of his talks with the Latin American leaders.
Earlier this month the vice president telephoned Moreno to discuss the bilateral relationship and the crisis in Venezuela, although he failed to convince Ecuador to vote in favor of a resolution to begin the process of suspension of the Caribbean country of the OAS, and had to settle for an abstention from Quito.
Pence’s visit was preceded in February by the then undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, third in the institution’s ranking, who dealt with the Ecuadorian authorities issues such as the fight against drug trafficking and the possibility of expanding collaboration in other areas of common interest. (I)