“The brotherhood that unites our peoples is historic and we must continue to strengthen it,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez emphasized before his counterpart, Guillermo Lasso.
The Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, held a meeting on Tuesday with his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, in which they agreed to resume diplomatic relations between their countries and appoint new ambassadorsafter the conflict that unleashed in March the escape of the condemned former correista minister Maria de los Angeles Duarte from the headquarters of the diplomatic mission of Buenos Aires in Quito.
During the meeting, held within the framework of the III Summit of Heads of State and Government of the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which ended this day in Brussels (Belgium), both leaders pledged to “continue strengthening their cooperation ties, especially in trade“, said Lasso on his Twitter account, who attached a photo of the appointment with his Argentine counterpart.
Today I met with the president of Argentina, @alferdez. Ecuador and Argentina will continue to strengthen their cooperation ties, especially in trade. In turn, we reestablished diplomatic relations with the appointment of new ambassadors in both countries. pic.twitter.com/jfdel36VPg
— Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) July 18, 2023
For his part, Fernandez, who was accompanied by the Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero, stressed the importance of “modernizing the current agreements to expand and diversify our exportsespecially in the automotive sector.” “The brotherhood that unites our peoples is historic and we must continue to strengthen it,” said the president.
Why did Duarte face Quito and Buenos Aires?
Maria de los Angeles Duarte, who held various portfolios during Rafael Correa’s term, was sentenced in 2020 to eight years in prison for the crime of bribery in the Bribes 2012-2016 case and, since August of that year, she had been a refugee. together with his minor son, at the Argentine Embassy in Quito as a “guest for humanitarian reasons”.
In December 2022, the Fernandez government granted Duarte diplomatic asylum, but the Ecuadorian authorities they refused to give him the safe-conduct so that he could travel to Buenos Aires and expressed their annoyance, pointing out that they did not agree with giving “asylum to a person convicted of acts of corruption.”
So, Duarte decided to leave the headquarters of the diplomatic mission, because —he said— the Ecuadorian government turned it “into its political hostage”. Later, he revealed that the politician was in Venezuela and had appeared at the Embassy of Buenos Aires in Caracas. The then Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguin suggested that the Argentine Embassy may have been complicit in his departure, an accusation that was rejected by Buenos Aires.
Faced with this situation, the Ecuadorian government made the decision to declare the Argentine ambassador in Quito, Gabriel Fuks, ‘persona non grata’. In response, Argentina did the same in relation to the Ecuadorian ambassador in Buenos Aires, Xavier Alfonso Monge Yoder.