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Montevideo, April 19th 2024 - 08:31 UTC



Spain expresses its support to Daniel Noboa against violence in Ecuador

Thursday, January 25th 2024 - 10:31 UTC
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Ecuador must “show the world how things are improving,” Noboa told King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Sánchez in Madrid Ecuador must “show the world how things are improving,” Noboa told King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Sánchez in Madrid

Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa admitted Wednesday in Madrid that it was very hard for him to leave his country amid the current wave of violence by drug-trafficking gangs but insisted it was necessary “to face the world” at the same time. The South American leader's words came during the opening of the Fitur 2024 tourism fair in the Spanish capital.

Earlier this month, Noboa declared an “internal armed conflict” and considered 22 criminal organizations as terrorist groups to allow the military to join law enforcement forces in the fight to restore peace while waging “an unconventional war.” The President is on his first trip abroad since adopting these measures. He met King Felipe VI and his wife Letizia, in addition to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, among other engagements.

Ecuador must “show the world how things are improving” and invite people to visit the country and invest there, Noboa stressed. “We are going to be able to be a safer country, with open arms to investors and tourists who want to come,” he said.

He also told the hosting monarch that he wished Spain and Ecuador could work more together “in all the collateral effects that war has.”

“There are different ways to help a country out of a conflict and not necessarily only with armaments,” he also pointed out.

“No one likes to have violence in their country, to see those images that have been seen on television. But there is a strong feeling of unity and nationalism in the country, even the political class has agreed,” on key issues, Noboa also argued.

During their meeting, Sánchez highlighted his country's support for Ecuador's democratic institutions. ”The President of the Government [Prime Minister] has expressed to President Noboa Spain's willingness to deepen relations in security matters, both bilaterally and in the framework of cooperation with the European Union (EU),“ the Moncloa Palace, the seat of the Spanish Executive, said in a statement. Sánchez also conveyed to Noboa his ”firm condemnation” of the violent acts of criminal groups and his solidarity with all the Ecuadorean people.

The two heads of government also spoke about Fitur 2024 where some 250,000 visitors are expected, as well as climate change and ecological transition through renewable energies. Sánchez also underscored the results of the EU-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit last July in Brussels during the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, when some US$ 50 billion were pledged to support the partnership with the region until 2027 in energy, transport, infrastructure, the digital sector, health, education, and research.

Meanwhile, in Ecuador, school students are gradually going back to on-site classes after a virtual modality was adopted out of security concerns amid mounting violence. Starting Wednesday, 3,333 public and private schools and colleges nationwide resumed face-to-face activities, it was reported from Quito, bringing back over 1.8 million pupils to their more than 11,000 institutions, albeit under strict security protocols in the second phase of the process which began Monday in 8,178 educational facilities.

“As a result of the two phases of the progressive return, 70% of educational institutions have returned to the classroom,” Ecuador's Education Ministry explained in a statement.

Virtual education is maintained in high-risk areas with high crime rates and schools within a range of up to two kilometers from prisons, as per the advice of the Interior Ministry.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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