Today, President Donald J. Trump met with the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, signaling the historic turn in bilateral ties between our two countries. President Trump recognized Ecuador as the "Gateway to the Andes" that will help foster a mutually beneficial relationship for the region. The two leaders discussed Ecuador's leadership role in advancing security, prosperity, and democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
President Trump applauded President Moreno's stewardship of Ecuador to achieve a peaceful and democratic transition away from "21st century socialism," to a democratic society focused on the defense of basic rights and a free market economy with a strong foundation in growth and job creation. The United States will continue supporting President Moreno's efforts to implement much-needed economic reforms to strengthen the economy, balance public finances, and revive growth in Ecuador.
The two leaders discussed support for Interim President Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and agreed on the importance of increasing international pressure on the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro to end the ongoing crisis, restore democracy, and protect human rights. Furthermore, both leaders affirmed their support for Bolivia's democratic transition process.
President Trump and President Moreno discussed the recently signed Growth in the Americas Memorandum of Understanding that creates new opportunities for greater United States investment in energy and infrastructure in Ecuador. To further demonstrate the commitment of the United States to increasing economic and commercial ties with Ecuador, President Trump announced that the United States Trade Representative will send a high-level delegation of the Trade and Investment Council to Ecuador in April 2020. In addition, United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler will visit Ecuador in the coming months to explore new financing opportunities.
President Trump and President Moreno committed to explore new areas in trade, investment, and job creation, which will benefit both countries. The United States and Ecuador will develop a road map in the short term to improve our existing bilateral trade relationship based on a sound investment environment and fair market access.
Strengthening bilateral security cooperation is a priority for our two countries. President Trump and President Moreno committed to continue working to strengthen bilateral security cooperation and combat transnational crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and corruption. We thank the Government of Ecuador for signing the Automated Targeting System-Global agreement that will help strengthen border controls.
President Moreno reaffirmed his pledge to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex with respect to access to credit, which is consistent with the Government of Ecuador's commitment to support the objectives of the Women Global Development and Prosperity program (W-GDP). The United States welcomes Ecuador's support for W-GDP and its efforts to increase women's economic empowerment in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, we look forward to reopening our United States Agency for International Development office in Ecuador in March 2020.
This visit demonstrates the commitment of our two great countries to support like-minded nations in the region that share the common democratic principles of freedom, rule of law, economic and social development, and free and competitive markets. Both countries look forward to working together on trade, security, and regional priorities and to further discussions at the next United States-Ecuador Bilateral Expanded Political Dialogue in May 2020.
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