Nicaragua breaks diplomatic ties with Colombia

March 7th, 2008 - 9:30 am ICT by admin  

Managua/Bogota, March 7 (DPA) Nicaragua has broken its diplomatic relations with Colombia “in solidarity with Ecuador” to protest a cross-border raid by Colombian forces over the weekend, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has said. Ortega announced the breaking of ties with Bogota late Thursday after meeting Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who has launched a diplomatic offensive against Colombia since the Saturday raid.

The raid by Colombian forces into Ecuador, which killed Raul Reyes - second-in-command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - and 23 other rebels, has provoked great tension between Colombia and its neighbours, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Ecuador and Venezuela broke diplomatic ties with Colombia soon after the raid and sent extra troops to their borders with that country to protest the action. Venezuela also closed its Colombian border to trade.

“We are breaking with the terrorist policy of the government of Alvaro Uribe, not with the Colombian people,” Ortega said after his meeting with Correa.

He said he would withdraw diplomatic personnel from Bogota and will ask the Colombian government to take its representatives out of Nicaragua within a few hours.

Correa thanked Nicaragua for its “show of solidarity.”

Correa insisted that the crisis is not the result of a bilateral issue but rather a “regional problem”, and stressed that the Colombian government “can destabilize the whole of Latin America”.

Many Latin American presidents including Correa, Colombia’s Uribe and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez were expected to attend Friday the Rio Group summit in Santo Domingo.

Correa said Ecuador expects a “clear condemnation” of Colombia’s action both from the Rio Group and from the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The Permanent Council of OAS Wednesday approved a resolution, which states Colombia violated Ecuador’s sovereignty with the raid.

The foreign ministers of OAS countries are due to meet March 17 on the issue.

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