- Presidencia de la República de Panamá
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and his Ecuadorian colleague, Lenin Moreno, met last Tuesday in the city of San José and showed their interest in Ecuador joining Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and the United States in a joint plan to fight against drug trafficking.
"Both leaders showed interest in Ecuador joining the Southern Triangle composed of Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and the United States, to join efforts in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking," said a statement released by the Panamanian Presidency.
"In a meeting with the President @Lenin Moreno from Ecuador, we presented the latest joint efforts undertaken by Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and the United States in the fight against drug trafficking, and the importance of including Ecuador," Varela wrote on Twitter.
Varela and Moreno met on Tuesday in the Costa Rican capital as part of the inauguration of Carlos Alvarado as the new president of Costa Rica for the period 2018-2022.
"During the bilateral meeting with Ecuador, Moreno recognized Panama for the strategies that have been coordinated in terms of security, showing interest in working with the Panamanian government to adopt measures that can be applied in Ecuador," the Panamanian statement said.
He added that Varela and Moreno "agreed to continue talks between the two governments for the exclusion of both countries from discriminatory lists."
Panama published on March 9 a list of 20 jurisdictions in Latin America, Europe and Asia that apply discriminatory or restrictive measures against the Central American country, in which Ecuador is located.
The list is the first step in the assessment of reciprocal actions towards countries that discriminate against Panama, as established by Law 48 of October 26, 2016, which rules the process to apply retaliation measures, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said.
The vice president and chancellor of Panama, Isabel de Saint Malo, reported last April that "the deputy foreign minister of Ecuador" then visited the country "to take the necessary steps so that Panama can be removed from its list", without more precisions.
After the publication of the list, Greece and Uruguay have removed Panama from their discriminatory lists, to which Panama has responded by doing the same with its. (With information from EFE)