For the first time in 17 years an Ecuadorian president will visit the White House as President Lenin Moreno meets U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday.
“This visit is an opportunity to expand the new and positive bilateral relationship that the United States has built with Ecuador,” the White House said in a press release. “We hope to discuss ways to strengthen U.S. – Ecuadorian ties and to promote democracy and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere.”
The last visit by an Ecuadorian president to Washington was in February 2003, when President Lucio Gutierrez met with U.S. President George W. Bush.
In announcing the meeting of the two presidents, Ecuador Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said that in addition to discussing improved relations, the meeting will focus on financial matters, including increasing trade and investment by the U.S. in Ecuador. “We are looking for new commercial ties between our countries and President Moreno will be accompanied by a delegation of government and corporate leaders who will talk to their counterparts in Washington,” he said. He added that issues of law enforcement, national security and education are also on the agenda.
Following his meeting with Trump, Moreno will address the U.S. Senate and meet with several members of the U.S. Congress, Valencia said.
“Ecuador and the U.S. have traditionally had a strong relationship but this was weakened during the previous admnistration,” he said. “There are 1.5 million Ecuadorians living in the U.S. so it is in everyone’s interest to reestablish friendly ties.”