Colombia's president begs forgiveness for estranged relations with neighbors

10:14, July 28, 2010      

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Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe waves to supporters during a public tribute to Uribe for his eight years in power in Medellin July 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday asked Colombians to forgive him for estranged relations with the neighboring countries during his tenure.

"Please forgive those impasses I have caused, because I have to put the interests of the homeland above all," Uribe, who will leave office on Aug. 7, said.

During his two terms in office, Colombia had tense relations with Venezuela and Ecuador, both of whom have severed ties with Bogota.

"I always cause upsets abroad and sometimes at home. I have not been able to manage it as well as I would like to," Uribe told local media.

Ecuador severed diplomatic ties with Bogota in March 2008 following Colombia's bombing of rebel camps in Ecuadorian territory. The two nations are seeking to restore relations.

Venezuela severed ties with Colombia last week, bringing the countries' troubled relations to a new low after Bogota accused the Venezuelan government of harboring Colombian guerilla chiefs.



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