Foreign Minister: Ecuador to maintain foreign policy, ties with Iran

Photo: Foreign Minister: Ecuador to maintain foreign policy, ties with Iran / Iran

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has reaffirmed his country's determination to maintain its foreign policy and continue bilateral ties with Iran and other friend countries despite disagreements by the U.S., Press TV reported.

A recent US legislation aimed at countering the Iran-Latin America ties will not affect Ecuador's relationship with Iran, Prensa Latina news agency quoted Patino as saying in an interview.

On December 28, 2012, US President Barack Obama enacted the law to counter Iran's growing relations with the Latin American countries.

The so-called Countering Iran in Western Hemisphere Act requires the US Department of State to develop a strategy within 180 days to "address Iran's growing hostile presence and activity" in Latin America.

The Ecuadorian minister decried the US legislation and said Washington believes that when it breaks off relations with a country, the rest must also follow suit.

He emphasized that Quito would proceed with its relations with Iran, China, Russia, Middle East, Africa and all the countries with which it has traditionally maintained ties.

He expressed hope that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) would support Ecuador's stance during their next meeting.

Patino added that the new US law seeks to affect countries in Latin America that have good relations with Iran as in the case of Ecuador.

"This law refers only to the US interests and not the global peace," he said.

Major Latin American nations have enhanced their diplomatic and trade ties with Iran in recent years.

The promotion of all-out cooperation with Latin American countries has been among the top priorities of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy over the past few years.

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