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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ecuador closer to Iran which promised 200 million USD loan

MercoPress, January 19, 2009
Iran will loan more than 200 million US dollars to Ecuador and will study several investment projects in the country, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa announced during his Saturday radio and television program.

President Correa did not give further details but recalled that last week he met in Quito with an Iranian delegation to analyze the progress of the bilateral accords established in recent months.

"Collaboration with Iran has started to bear fruit" and soon representatives of construction companies from Teheran will arrive to "study the projects in which they want to invest," the president said.

"A loan of more than 200 million USD from Iran to Ecuador is practically certain," he said, mentioning that with Tehran "there is not only financing for trade" but also "cooperation for development".

"There is a new outlook" that includes technology transfer and "many other things," he said.

Ecuador together with Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have established closer political and trade links with Iran, as well as strengthening ties with China and Russia, all of which have advanced on Latinamerica, an area traditionally under Washington influence.

President Correa who has signed several pacts with China, acknowledged that the "relationship is being favoured" because the country has "shown interest" in cooperating with Ecuador.

Nonetheless, he said that in a recent evaluation of the situation with Chinese diplomats here it was evident that the accords that were signed have not advanced as planned.

That delay is "part our fault and part China's, which has very slow bureaucratic procedures and processes for taking decisions," Correa said, stressing the renewed bilateral commitment to making quick progress in turning agreements into action

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