Spain supports elimination of EU visas for Ecuadorians; Ecuador says it will muzzle Assange

Dec 19, 2017 | 7 comments

In a Monday meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, President Lenin Moreno received assurances that Spain will actively campaign for the elimination of visa requirements for Ecuadorian citizens visiting European Union (EU) countries.

President Lenin Moreno meeting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI.

Although Ecuador signed a trade agreement with the EU last year, the agreement did not include a provision eliminating the visa requirement as had the 2012 EU trade agreement with Peru and Colombia.

“I agree with President Moreno that the visa issue should be resolved and Spain will play an advocacy role to see that it happens,” Rajoy said following his meeting with Moreno. “The requirement for visas was eliminated for other countries in Latin America that have agreements with the EU and Ecuador should receive the same treatment. It is an issue of fairness.”

In return, Moreno said Ecuador would stop interference by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the Catalonian independence movement. Assange, who has been granted political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, has publicly supported the independence movement on social media. If necessary, Morerno told Rajoy that Assange’s internet privileges would be suspended.

In addition to the travel visa and Assange issues, Moreno and Rajoy signed bilateral agreements on health, justice and infrastructure.

Also on Monday, Moreno met with Spanish King Felipe VI at the royal Palacio de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

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