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US Top Diplomat Blinken Heading to Ecuador, Colombia

FILE - Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting at the State Department in Washington, Oct. 13, 2021.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Ecuador and Colombia next week to meet with leaders there.

He will be in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 19 to meet with President Guillermo Lasso and Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo. They will discuss democratic governance, counternarcotics cooperation, and opportunities for trade and investment, among other topics, according to a State Department press release.

On Oct. 20, Blinken will give a speech on “the challenges facing democracies in the region.”

He will then go on to Bogota, Colombia, where he will meet with President Ivan Duque Marquez and Vice President-Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez to discuss “advocating for strong democratic governments” in the region, “sustainable peace and reconciliation,” irregular migration, combating drug trafficking and other issues.

Blinken will co-lead a meeting to address supporting “safe, orderly, and humane migration policies.”

The trip will be Blinken’s third to the region.