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President Obama Congratulates Ecuador's President

U.S. President Barack Obama has called Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to congratulate him on his recent re-election.

Though Mr. Correa has nearly two years left in his current term, he had to stand for re-election in April, as required by a new constitution that voters approved last year. The election results were confirmed last month.

A White House statement Thursday says Mr. Obama commended the people of Ecuador for their commitment to democracy.

It says Mr. Obama expressed his desire to deepen the relationship between the U.S. and Ecuador and maintain a dialogue based on mutual respect

Ecuador's notoriously volatile electorate ousted three presidents in less than a decade before Mr. Correa took power in 2007. He has used oil revenues to keep his promises to spend on health, housing, pensions and education.

The Ecuadorean leader is a U.S.-educated economist who has been critical of U.S. policy in Latin America.

He is an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has also criticized U.S. policies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.