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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ecuador supports Venezuela's return to the Andean Community

El Universal, 10 September, 2007

The Ecuadorian government endorses the likely return of Venezuela to the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), as such a move would help strengthen the region, said Minister of Foreign Affairs María Fernanda Espinosa.

In a communiqué, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested holding a likely summit of the Andean Community in Galápagos Islands.

"Venezuela's return to CAN would certainly help strengthen integration in the Andean region and define joint consistent strategies to solve our peoples' needs," Espinosa said.

She stressed that the Ecuadorian government was "particurly pleased and supports" President Hugo Chávez' remarks about Venezuela's likely return to CAN, a regional organization he left in April 2006, AP reported.

Chávez back then said the organization was "dead," following the free trade agreements both Colombia and Peru initialed with the United States.

Early in August, during a visit to Ecuador, Chávez offered a news conference together with his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa, and said it was "not unlikely" that Venezuela returned to CAN.

"If you come back to CAN, we are immediately joining the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas," replied Correa.

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