The Lasso of Ecuador demonstrates that democracy can be effective, says Blinken of the United States
QUITO, Oct. 19 (Reuters) – Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso demonstrates that democracy can deliver real results for the people, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting between the two men in Quito.
Ecuador is the first stop on a three-day tour of Blinken, which will also see him travel to Colombia for meetings with the Colombian president and the region’s foreign ministers.
Lasso, a former conservative banker who took office in May, told Blinken that Ecuador âshares the values ââof democracy and freedom more than everâ with the United States.
âWe admire the strong voice for democracy that you have shared with the Ecuadorian people, but also for people across our hemisphere,â said Blinken, thanking Lasso for quickly rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations in the Andean nation.
Blinken applauded Lasso’s work in fighting corruption and said the two countries are working together to tackle drug trafficking and climate change.
On Monday, Lasso declared a state of emergency in cracking down on drug use and trafficking, a move he said was in response to rising homicides.
Migration will be the focus of Blinken’s journey, against a backdrop of increasing numbers of migrants heading to the southern border of the United States, some from South America.
Blinken said he would work on regional challenges like migration with Lasso and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo during his visit.
Reporting by Simon Lewis and Alexandra Valencia in Quito Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O’Brien
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.