Colombia freezes plan to resume relations with Ecuador

June 25th, 2008 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, June 25 (IANS) Colombia has said repeated accusations by Ecuador for its attack on a rebel base in that country have made it difficult to renew diplomatic ties with the Andean nation, Spain’s EFE news agency reported. Quito severed ties with Bogota following the March 1 attack on a base belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) inside its territory.

Colombia said it was forced to freeze plans to renew bilateral ties due to repeated accusations by the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa over the incident, the report said Tuesday.

“The latest statements by Correa have left us with no room to move forward on that. We’ve decided to postpone the reestablishment (of relations),” Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo told the Caracol TV Monday.

At least 26 people were killed in the raid that involved air strikes and a ground operation.

The diplomatic ties were set to resume at the charges d’affaires level after diplomatic parleys by the Organisation of American States and the Atlanta-based institution Carter Centre.

On Sunday, Correa told the Argentine media that his country had taken steps “to resume relations at charges d’affaires level… But to establish full relations with Colombia, Bogota has to give full explanation for the attack”.

“The bombs were US-made and according to reports from our armed forces, they cannot be dropped by Colombian planes,” Correa said.

The US provides $500 million to Bogota annually to fight the country’s leftist rebels including the FARC.

Colombia’s largest leftist insurgency group FARC has been designated as a foreign terrorists organisation by both the US and the European Union.

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