Michael J. Fitzpatrick, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, says the U.S. expects to strengthen its relationship with Ecuador following the inauguration of Lenin Moreno.
Fitzpatrick, who represented the U.S. at last week’s inauguration in Quito, said that Moreno’s call for greater openness in internal and external relations, “opens new doors” for dialogue between the two countries.
“I was very impressed the message that President Moreno delivered and see a bright future ahead for an improved relationship,” Fitzpatrick said.
Ecuador’s relationship with the U.S. has been strained since 2010 when former President Rafael Correa refused to renew the lease of for a U.S. anti-drug operation at the Manta airport. Relations chilled further in 2011 when Correa expelled U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges following a Wikileaks release of emails in which Hodges said Ecuadorian police were corrupt.
“The U.S. looks forward to working more closely with Ecuador on a number of levels, diplomatic, economic and social, said Fitzpatrick, who is in charge of Andean, Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs at the State Department.