Portman, Kaine Lead CODEL on Visit to Quito, Ecuador to Meet with President Guillermo Lasso, Other Members of the Ecuadorian Government, National Assembly Leaders, and Members of the Business Community and Civil Society
The Delegation was in Quito to Discuss Narcotrafficking, Migration, Environment, Economic and Security Issues
QUITO, ECUADOR – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), both members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, concluded a visit to Quito, Ecuador as part of a Congressional Delegation (CODEL); Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) joined as well. They met with officials from the Government of Ecuador, National Assembly, business leaders, and civil society organizations to discuss the environment; trade, economic, and migration issues; narcotrafficking and security challenges, and to demonstrate the commitment of the United States to enhancing the bilateral relationship. During their meetings, the senators also discussed U.S. efforts to help Ecuador fight COVID-19, including the recent donation of two million Pfizer vaccines to Ecuador.
“I appreciate the discussions we had with President Guillermo Lasso, other members of the Ecuadorian government, and Ecuadorian business leaders on migration issues, combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and the different ways we can best assist each other in fighting narcotrafficking, money laundering, wildlife trafficking, and other crimes,” said Portman. “I want to commend the Lasso government on their desire to foster strong relations with the United States – the delegation looks forward to working closely with Ecuador in the near future.”
“Ecuador is an important partner in the region, and I look forward to strengthening our bilateral relationship. This is why I was glad to co-lead our bipartisan Senate delegation to Quito today to enhance ties between our nations,” said Kaine. “We had productive conversations with President Guillermo Lasso, other members of the Ecuadorian government, and business and civil society leaders to better understand how Congress can help Ecuador expand economic opportunity and the security and prosperity of its people. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will continue to work to promote our alliance and address issues impacting both our nations such as COVID, migration and regional security.”
The delegation met with President Guillermo Lasso to discuss possible areas of expanding cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuador, including economic programs and the growing bilateral trade relationship, and cooperation on security and curbing narcotrafficking. In addition, the U.S. delegation held meetings with the President of the National Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, and with members of the National Assembly Legislative Administrative Council.
The senators also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauricio Montalvo, Minister of Defense Fernando Donoso, and Minister of Commerce Julio Jose Prado to discuss security, governance, the plight of Venezuelan and other migrants, the fight against drug trafficking, and U.S. assistance to help detect money laundering and financial crimes, among other issues.
As part of the agenda, the delegation also visited the Hogar de la Madre San Francisco migrant shelter, run by the Jesuits and supported by USAID. The shelter provides housing and mental health support to migrant families who desire to settle in Ecuador. They also participated in a roundtable with environmental and wildlife trafficking experts, and met with senior business leaders.
The delegation was grateful to the men and women of U.S. Embassy Quito for their outstanding support of the delegations visit and for ably representing our country abroad.