Ecuador president: Manafort pitched deal for China investors

2017-11-21 19:24
US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairperson Paul Manafort. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairperson Paul Manafort. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

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Quito - Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno says that he met US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairperson this year together with a group of Chinese businessmen interested in acquiring a stake in the nation's power company.

In a statement, Moreno said the meeting in Quito involved Paul Manafort and representatives of an unidentified Chinese company who proposed to privatise the state-owned National Electric Corp. He said the proposal was rejected because it would have violated Ecuador's constitution.

Moreno, who didn't say if any other issues were discussed, broke his silence about the May meeting with Manafort after being criticised by former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

"It's very worrying that there should be a meeting with types like Manafort and that it should be kept hidden from the Ecuadorean people," Correa said earlier.

Manafort was recently indicted in the US on money laundering charges and other counts tied to his work for Ukraine's pro-Russian ruling party. According to court documents in the case, Manafort visited Ecuador using a phone registered under a false name and travelled on one of three US passports he possesses before going to Mexico and China weeks later.

Manafort wasn't under indictment at the time of his visit to Ecuador, and Moreno said the meeting with the former Trump adviser was one of many contacts he had as president-elect to court new economic and political partnerships.

Read more on:    ecuador

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