U.S. Under Secretary of State David Hale arrives in Quito Wednesday to discuss the bilateral relationship between Ecuador and the U.S.
Hale will meet with President Lenin Moreno and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Valencia and launch the new bilateral political dialogue that President Moreno and Vice President Pence agreed to during Pence’s visit to Quito in June 2018, according to a State Department press release.
The talks will focus on areas of mutual interest, including democracy, transparency, security, regional issues and migration, the release says.
While in Ecuador, the under secretary will signed bilateral agreements to promote security, education and the protection of cultural property, the release added.
Moreno has said that Ecuador is taking in around 6,000 Venezuelan migrants daily as they flee their crisis-hit country.
Ecuador is among the states that have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president and recognized his diplomatic representative in the country. However, the Venezuelan embassy in Quito is still led by the diplomats appointed by the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
The department said that Hale will also meet with university students to reinforce cultural and educational cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuador.
Venezuela has been plunged into severe unrest since January this year, after US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president.” Maduro accuses the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as its puppet and take over Venezuela’s natural resources.