Ecuador says it is launching security effort with US

August 2, 2018 GMT

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Officials in Ecuador say they are launching a security effort with the United States in a further sign that frosty relations between the two nations are thawing.

Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin spoke Thursday in Quito, saying Ecuador is also buying weapons, radar sets, six helicopters and other equipment, but gave no details.

Jarrin says cooperation with the U.S. will include training and intelligence sharing.

It follows a June visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who agreed with Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno to improve relations.

Relations were strained under former President Rafael Correa.

Pence urged Moreno to hold a firm line against socialist President Nicolas Maduro in neighboring Venezuela.

The cooperation also follows attacks by Colombian guerrillas that killed four soldiers and three newspaper employees.