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Monday, February 09, 2009

Ecuadorian president in Venezuela for ALBA summit

QUITO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa set off Monday for the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to attend the extraordinary summit of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA).

During his two-day visit, Correa will meet with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez to discuss strategies to strengthen the integration process of Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the official agenda announced by the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry.

At the summit, Correa plans to discuss his proposal of creating an Organization of Latin American States, which he first put forward at the last ALBA summit in December 2008, held in Brazil.

He will also exchange views on issues such as the energy crisis and coordination, the financial crisis and external debt with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Correa is also slated to attend a meeting in Venezuela's Cumana community to discuss the energy cooperation agreements signed between both countries.

Foreign Minister Fander Falconi, Finance Minister Elsa Viteri, Mining and Oil Minister Derlis Palacios and other officials are accompanying the Correa on the trip.

The ALBA is composed of Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica,Cuba and Venezuela. Ecuador became an observer of the bloc in November 2008.

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