QUITO -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa stressed Saturday his government's ties with countries outside the orbit of the United States, above all with Russia, China and Iran, as well as with his friends and allies in Latin America.
All of them "are countries that have shown their wish for a closer association" with Ecuador and "for whom we mean something," Correa said in his customary Saturday report, in which he included as his closest allies Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.
He emphasized the rapprochement with Russia, whose foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, recently visited Quito, and with China and Iran, both interested in making hydroelectric and petroleum investments in Ecuador.
"With all these countries we have bilateral accords," Correa said, adding that the governments of Beijing and Tehran have shown interest in developing large-scale projects in Ecuador, while "in Russia there are vast markets and they also want to invest" in the Andean country.
"We are seeking bilateral financing for the country's strategic projects," said Correa, a leftist economist who prefers to seek support from countries outside the orbit of the United States.
The Ecuadorian head of state, who in 2008 visited China and Iran, plans to travel on Jan.7 to Havana for a two-day state visit.
Correa also meets frequently with his Venezuelan colleague, Hugo Chavez, and has strong ties with Bolivia's Evo Morales.