MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Entering the room is Mr. Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, Constitutional President of the Republic of Ecuador; and Secretary Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT LASSO: (Via interpreter) I want to express a warm welcome to Secretary of State of the United States, who is visiting us here in Ecuador to talk on some subjects of cooperation between the United States and Ecuador. I would like to say to Mr. Secretary that Ecuador to date more than ever shares values of democracy and freedom that have guided from their foundation.
Bienvenidos, Señor Secretario.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Gracias, Señor Presidente. It’s wonderful to be here in Ecuador and a great pleasure, Mr. President, to be with you. I bring you very warm greetings from President Biden, and I simply want to say that we have already a strong partnership of many years between the United States and Ecuador but one that is growing stronger with the leadership of President Lasso. We admire the strong voice for democracy that you have shared with the Ecuadorian people, but also with people throughout our hemisphere.
And Mr. President, we appreciate very much that you are demonstrating convincingly that democracy can deliver real results for our people, and nowhere was that more clear than with the extraordinary work you and your government did in combatting COVID-19 and making sure that the Ecuadorian people could be vaccinated as quickly as they were. We applaud that. We applaud the work you are doing to combat corruption, to pursue reform that benefits people throughout Ecuador in an equitable way, and the work that we’re doing together to combat narcotrafficking, to preserve our environment and the climate, and to work on some of the regional challenges that we face together, including on migration.
I know we have a lot of work to do as well as with the foreign minister, but I’m just very grateful to be here and thankful for your reception. Thank you. Gracias.