Ecuador VP says she will go to Israel amid spat with president

Ecuador’s Vice President Veronica Abad said on Tuesday she will travel to Israel to support peace efforts in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, complying with a task assigned to her by President Daniel Noboa which she had previously critiqued.

Abad, a 47-year-old businesswoman, made controversial comments during the presidential election about the privatization of education and health services, contradicting Noboa’s proposals. She said her comments were misinterpreted.

Noboa assigned her the sole function of collaborating with peace efforts between Israel and Hamas in a presidential decree, a role that Abad is expected to fulfill from Ecuador’s embassy in Tel Aviv.

She responded with a social media video over the weekend marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and decrying abuses of power where “they minimize you and send you to die in war.”

She will comply with the order to “guarantee constitutional stability” and avoid accusations of abandonment of her post, Abad told reporters in Quito.

Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa signs first decrees to appoint ministers, at the Presidential Palace (Palacio de Carondelet) on the day of his swearing-in ceremony, in Quito, Ecuador November 23, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/Karen Toro)

“This morning I asked for the information needed to carry out the mission with success,” she said. She offered no date for her trip.

Ecuador’s responsibility to seek peaceful resolutions for conflicts

Noboa has said the appointment was justified as part of Ecuador’s responsibility to seek peaceful resolution of conflicts and support international efforts to end the seven-week-old war.

Noboa, 35, took office on Thursday pledging to fix the economy and combat drug trafficking gangs.

Abad did not attend Noboa’s inauguration lunch, instead publishing photos on social media of her eating at a market in Quito.

She said on Tuesday she was invited neither to the lunch nor to a victory party on election day.

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