Colombia, Ecuador resume contact on border security

10:46, November 20, 2009      

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The governments of Colombia and Ecuador reinstalled here on Thursday a defunct frontier committee to resume contact on border security one and a half years after both sides cut off ties.

Colombian Defence Minister Gabriel Silva, his Ecuadorian counterpart Javier Ponce, and Ecuadorian Security Coordination Minister Miguel Carvajal were present at the reactivation ceremony of the committee.

The bilateral frontier committee, which was responsible for security and cooperation affairs in the border areas, stopped working four months before the two broke up their diplomatic ties in early 2008.

Colombia and Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations in March 2008, after the Colombian military entered Ecuadorian territory in an operation against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Tensions flared up as both sides sent more troops to the border area subsequently and intermittent frictions occurred.

Since the beginning this year, tensions have been eased and bilateral ties have witnessed signs of improvement as both sides started moving to normalize relations.

According to a statement released on Thursday, the reactivation of the committee will deepen the normalization of bilateral relations and represents a significant advance in the reestablishment of full cooperation in such fields as border security.

"Under the committee frame, a high-level group, including ministers and commanders of military forces and police of both sides, will be created in charge of border security," the statement said.

Diplomats from both countries also met on Tuesday in northern Ecuador to seek normalization of ties by designating charges d'affaires over the next two weeks.

The charge d'affaires heads each embassy's mission in the absence of an ambassador.

Source: Xinhua
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