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Iran, Ecuador boost friendship, call for better world

(Xinhua)

14:03, January 13, 2012

QUITO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Thursday welcomed visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Quito, who was on the fourth leg of his Latin American tour.

Leading a delegation of 70 people, Ahmadinejad was welcomed by a crowd of Ecuadorians and Iranians waving flags of both countries.

Calling Correa "a revolutionary president, brother and friend," Ahmadinejad said his visit would deepen brotherhood between the two countries which established diplomatic relations in 1973.

During a private meeting, the two leaders discussed trade, agriculture, technology and cooperation in oil and energy fields.

Ecuador seeks Iran's collaboration in strategic projects which require external financing, including the construction of a hydroelectric power plant and a refinery in the Pacific coast.

Ahmadinejad called for building a "more beautiful and united world" which is free of tyranny, oppression and humiliation of nations.

Echoing the Iranian leader, Correa said "A human society with changes, progress and justice" is needed.

It is Ahmadinejad's second visit to Ecuador and the wrap-up part of his Latin American tour after Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

The trip took place at a moment when the United States and the European Union were pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear program, which Iran had repeatedly said was for peaceful purposes.

According to the Ecuadorian authorities, Ecuador-Iran trade exchanges had surged from 2 to 50 million U.S. dollars. The amount could rise further if local exports were boosted.

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