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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ecuador's Correa visits Peru to discuss Andean Community problems

Living in Peru, September 12, 2008
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, is to arrive in Callao, Peru today at approximately 8:30 a.m. with the main goal of evaluating with President Alan Garcia the situation the Andean Community of Nations is facing.

The two heads of state, along with María Isabel Salvador and Eduardo Egas, Ecuador's minister and vice minister of foreign affairs, are to meet at 9 a.m. for a breakfast meeting at the Government Palace in Lima.

Also present at the meeting will be Peru's Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mercedes Araoz, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo Gutiérrez and Peru's ambassador to Ecuador Álvaro Rojas.

Correa will then head to Andean Nations headquarters and have a meeting with the General Secretary, after which he will give a press conference.

The Andean Community of Nations, a South American trade bloc made up of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, recently disagreed on a decision to allow Peru to make changes to a norm so it could implement its free trade deal with the United States.

While Colombia and Ecuador supported Peru, Bolivia refused to modify the norm and requested the General Secretary of Andean Nations be removed from his position when the modification was approved.

Because the Andean trade bloc is also having trouble negotiating a free trade deal with the European Union, Peru - with support from Colombia and Ecuador - has suggested negotiating the pact individually.

Minster Araoz maintained this would be in everyone's interests because each country would be able to negotiate a trade deal at their own pace.

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