Quito, June 29 (IANS) Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Thursday met with US Vice President Mike Pence at the Carondelet Palace, the seat of the executive branch, in Quito’s historic district.
The Vice President and his wife Karen were welcomed at the palace by Foreign Minister Jose Valencia. The Pences posed for a photograph with Moreno and first lady Rocio Gonzalez, Efe reported.
Pence, who flew into nearby Mariscal Sucre Airport from Brazil on Wednesday, is just the third US Vice President to visit the Andean country since 1958.
Pence’s visit is seen as a sign of a restoration of relations between Ecuador and the US following the 2007-2017 Correa administration, whose relations with Washington were tense.
Thursday’s official agenda includes a private bilateral meeting followed by a joint press conference.
Among the matters of common interest to be discussed during Pence’s visit, which is set to last less than 24 hours, are security, the fight against drug cartels, the situation of Ecuadorian migrants in the US and Venezuela.
Valencia said moments before Pence’s arrival that the talks would focus on “human mobility, migration and security,” adding that Quito aims to deepen bilateral trade relations, as well as to reach preferential deals to increase non-oil exports to the US.