Ecuador announced new plans to vote in support of Israel at the United Nations, President Guillermo Lasso announced during a visit to Israel on Thursday.
The announcement occurred alongside the opening of a new Ecuador innovation office in Jerusalem.
“President Lasso told his counterparts, his Israeli hosts, that Ecuador will change its voting pattern at the United Nations and be more balanced and supportive of Israel in multilateral arenas,” Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General Jonathan Peled told The Jerusalem Post.
Ecuador has long served among a group of countries that have voted against Israel at the U.N. Though Ecuador voted at the U.N. in favor of Israel’s reestablishment, it has voted alongside other nations against Israel for the past 15 years.
The visit also marked the first visit by a president from Ecuador has visited Israel.
“For me, my wife and my delegation, it is a great honor to be here in Israel, a country that I have always particularly admired,” Lasso told the press on Wednesday, according to Jewish News Syndicate.
“I admire the Israeli fighting spirit, Israel’s great dignity and its development. In 74 years, with half of Ecuador’s population, you have reached an economy four times the size of Ecuador’s.”
The new change joins Ecuador’s neighboring nations of Columbia and Peru that serve as allies with Israel.
The move is also seen as a positive contrast with other South American nations, such as Venezuela, that have taken a more hostile approach to working with Israel and America. The new move may also be a business boost for Ecuador, a nation where the gross domestic product ranks low but includes much potential for improvement.
The visit also included several stops at Israeli universities. Lasso visited the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.