Ecuador, Colombia seek to restore diplomatic ties

10:22, July 20, 2010      

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Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino met with Colombian representative Maria Angela Holguin Monday on the resumption of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The talks were held as Ecuador and Colombia are taking steps to repair their estranged relations. Quito cut off diplomatic ties with Bogota in March 2008 following Colombia's bombing attack on a guerilla camp on the Ecuadorian side of the border.

Holguin, Colombia's foreign minister-designate, told reporters that her visit was aimed to foster a smooth relationship between Ecuador and the new Colombian government under President-elect Juan Manuel Santos. Santos served as defense minister at the time of the raid and is facing an arrest warrant by an Ecuadorian court.

Earlier in the day, Patino said his country is willing to restore ties with Colombia.

"We are going to talk with the Colombian authorities, with the new authorities and we are going to ask them, please, to have control in their border," he said.

The two countries have resumed part of their diplomatic relations but neither country has appointed an ambassador yet. Holguin's visit is part of Colombia's efforts to restore full diplomatic ties with Ecuador on the basis of juridical equality and mutual respect.

Monday's talks are expected to involve the issue of Colombia's alleged spying operation against Ecuadorian political and diplomatic authorities, including Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.

Colombia's relations with its neighbors are often thorny as Bogota struggles to crack down on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group which has set up footholds in neighboring countries.

Source: Xinhua


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