President Yudhoyono begins state visit to Ecuador

Quito (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono participate in a state visit to Ecuador on June 22 and 23, 2012.

Yudhoyono and his entourage arrived here on Friday and were greeted by Ecuador`s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ricardo Patino Aroca, Teuku Faizasyah, a special presidential staff member in charge of international affairs, said.

The visit was the first since Indonesia and Ecuador established diplomatic ties on April 29, 1980. The visit was also meant to reciprocate the Ecuadorian president`s visit to Indonesia in 2007.

"The state visit of President Yudhoyono to Ecuador is expected to strengthen bilateral relations between the two states in various fields," Faizasyah said.

Ecuador is one of the most important nations in the South American region and a member of the Forum for East Asia and Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), he added.

Yudhoyono and President Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador were expected to hold a bilateral meeting on Saturday and later to witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding.

Also, on Saturday afternoon the Indonesian president will meet the president of Ecuador`s Parliament, Fernando Cordero.

Yudhoyono was accompanied to Ecuador by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, and Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam. (*)