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Cablegate: Ambasssador Meets Quito Mayor Moncayo

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0934 2732020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 292020Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9439
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7762
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3200
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP LIMA 2822
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3824
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS QUITO 000934

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV EC
SUBJECT: AMBASSSADOR MEETS QUITO MAYOR MONCAYO

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In a September 11 courtesy call Quito Mayor Paco
Moncayo avoided controversial political issues and focused on a
review of ongoing municipal projects. End summary.

2. (SBU) Mayor Moncayo warmly welcomed the Ambassador and commented
on his good relations with the Embassy over the years. He focused
his comments largely on explaining municipal responsibilities,
including water, park and airport management (noting that the city
does not maintain a police force and that the central government is
responsible for security). He mentioned that Quito has two
sister-cities in the United States, Louisville and Atlanta, and
talked a bit about how Quito was chosen as a world heritage site by
UNESCO. Moncayo expressed firm support for technical exchanges of
expertise between sister cities and distaste for charity
relationships. He also thanked Ambassador for the recent expansion
of $20,000 worth of English language scholarships for local students
and USAID assistance in making two city parks accessible to persons
with disabilities.

3. (SBU) Moncayo described how Quito's unified municipal government
(a city council and a single mayor for eight administrative
districts) makes the city's management strong in comparison to that
of many others in Latin America. Finally, he and his advisor for
International Affairs, Rene Pinto, both stressed that they hoped the
municipality's close relationship with the Embassy would continue,
and invited the Ambassador to participate in Quito's twice annual
cultural history course.

4. (SBU) Comment: The tone of the meeting was very pleasant.
Moncayo, who is an Ecuadorian war hero and strong political figure,
did not delve into any of the currently politically sensitive topics
such as the new Quito airport, or the upcoming referendum on
Ecuador's draft Constitution. He did mention the need for closer
cooperation with the central government, particularly in the area of
municipal security, but focused on providing a cordial welcome for
the Ambassador.

HODGES

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