Ecuador leader's plane makes emergency landing in US

President Moreno during a meeting at the Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, DC, on Jan 27, 2021.
President Moreno during a meeting at the Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, DC, on Jan 27, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

QUITO (AFP) - A plane carrying Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno was forced to make an emergency landing on Saturday (Jan 30) in Washington at the end of an official visit, the country's communications ministry announced.

Moreno and several members of his government travelling with him were "all fine," the announcement said.

"The president's plane suffered a mechanical failure a few minutes after takeoff from Washington DC and had to make an emergency landing," the ministry said.

"Moreno and all occupants of the plane are fine and will return to Ecuador in the coming hours," it added.

The statement provided no details on the nature of the mechanical defect or the circumstances surrounding the landing.

The Ecuadoran leader, whose four-year term ends on May 24, had just completed an official visit that included meetings with officials in the new administration of President Joe Biden.

He also met with Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF in September had granted a US$6.5 billion (S$8.6 billion) credit to the South American country.