Ecuador agrees to return of USAID as relations warm
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Ecuador agrees to return of USAID as relations warm

Mark Green, USAID administrator, talks after a signing ceremony, in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. USAID returns to Ecuador for the first time since being expelled from the country in 2014 by former President Rafael Correa. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador has agreed to the return of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has been kicked out of the country four years ago under leftist former President Rafael Correa.

Foreign Minister José Valencia and U.S. Ambassador Mark Green signed the memorandum of agreement on Wednesday setting terms of the deal. The U.S. agency initially is offering Ecuador $30 million to help it cope with migrants fleeing Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

Valencia said the “special connection” with the U.S. is an expression of President Lenin Moreno’s policies.

Moreno has aligned the South American nation more closely with the U.S. since taking office in 2017. He’s been feuding with Correa, who had prickly relations with the U.S. and expelled USAID in 2014.

The Associated Press