Lima Group's only purpose for existence is to unite Latin America and the Caribbean against Venezuela, and it doesn't represent a regional integration movement, according to Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa.
Speaking in an interview with the newspaper El Telegrafo, Espinosa said Ecuador isn't interested in joining Lima Group and prefers to focus on partnering with various countries to enhance regional cooperation. She said the Group was solely created to confront the Bolivarian revolution and cement alliances among mostly by right-wing governments in Latin America.
“In fact, the Lima Group has one sole purpose that is Venezuela, so we don't consider it to be an integration group. We need to defend the established groups, the Andean Community, Unasur, Mercosur, and CELAC. Ecuador takes part in all of them,”for integration purposes she explained.
Highlighting the importance of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which is working to further regional cooperation efforts such as the South American Defense Council and the Public Health Investigation Institute, Espinosa invited member states to reflect on the purpose of the organization and work to refine its agenda and elect a new secretary general.
“We're working hand-in-hand with Bolivia to create consensus and relaunch Unsar. That's worth it,” she said.
When asked about Ecuador's position on the Venezuelan elections, Espinosa said the current president, Lenin Moreno would consult the international observing delegations present during the vote before making an official declaration.
Espinosa also discussed Ecuador's relationship with the United Kingdom nations, stating they have “excellent relations with that country” and hope to strength “cooperation” with them, including on the issue of Julian Assange's case.
“There's will from both countries to find an exit, according to Ecuador's criteria of complying with the defense of the protected person's human rights,” said Espinosa regarding Assange, “it's a very complex, complicated topic, but there's political decisiveness to find an exit.”
The minister also spoke about promoting good relations with every country taking Ecuador's interest first into account, ignoring political prejudices.
Espinosa is currently on leave of absence to promote her candidacy to preside over the 73th General Assembly of the United Nations, on President Moreno's request.