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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Coopération renforcée entre l’Equateur et la France

by Bernard Duraud

Reinforced Cooperation Between Ecuador and France

Translated Tuesday 19 November 2013, by Catherine Pageault

Rafael Correa, official visit in France will end this Saturday the first for a President of Ecuador in 22 years. After meeting with ministers, senators and parliamentarians, he was received Thursday at the Elysée by François Hollande.

The two heads of State signed a “strategic agreement” between the two countries and cooperation agreements on research, technology transfers and in the academic field. During a press conference on Friday, Rafael Correa could not conceal his satisfaction to see the strengthening of French-Ecuadorian exchanges and he has thanked “the president and the French people” for opening the doors for his country.

He was also thrilled that a commercial agreement, was about to see the day between Ecuador and the European Union but he insisted that it was not about free trade. This cooperation agreement, which will be based on the exchange of offers between the two parties, is being finalised and should be signed during the first trimester of 2014. The Ecuadorian President highlighted the “immense human talent” which abounds in France, which is “a great power in terms of new technologies. We have found all the means needed to help us.” He later spoke about the regional integration in Latin America, he estimated that “a slowdown” has been happening, the new regional power (CELAC) has notably suffered from the deaths of Nestor Kirchner (Argentina) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), two key actors of the construction of the “nation of nations”.

But the principle of this integration remains according to him intangible. It means cooperation in the implementation of economic, energetic, social and environmental policies and not a “conservative integration”, in the European style... Hence, this appeal reiterated to Europe, so it does not repeat the same mistakes as those committed by Latin America by giving in to financial capital: “Europe should focus on deregulation, because people are not consumers but citizens.” In the name of a “complete”integration and what it calls for, President Correa qualified the unilateral blockade of Cuba by Washington as a “major attack”, it was condemned 22 times by the United Nations, but “nothing changes”...

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