Ecuador wants American states to discuss Colombian raid

March 5th, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, March 5 (IANS) Ecuador has urged the 34-member Organisation of American States (OAS) to convene an urgent meeting to discuss Colombia’s “illegal” military operation on its territory, EFE news agency reported Wednesday. Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador told the permanent council of the organisation Tuesday that OAS foreign ministers should meet urgently to discuss Bogota’s military operation on Ecuadorian soil targeting a high-ranking Colombian rebel.

Raul Reyes, whose real name was Luis Edgar Devia Silva, a senior leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed in an attack in the jungle across the Colombia-Ecuador border Saturday. His death sparked tension between the two countries.

Reyes was FARC’s second most important leader and was the likely successor to the group’s 77-year-old head Manuel Marulanda.

In the backlash of the army operation across Ecuadorian border, Quito broke off diplomatic ties with Bogota Monday, while Venezuela expelled the Colombian ambassador. Both Ecuador and Venezuela have boosted their military presence on the borders with Colombia.

Salvador asked the member states to condemn the Columbian incursion as a violation of the OAS Charter.

Colombia “did not tell the truth to Ecuador or to the world,” she said, adding that just a diplomatic apology from Bogota “will not be sufficient”.

The foreign minister has accused Colombia that it tried to divert the attention from the crisis by accusing the Ecuadorian government of having illegal contacts with the FARC.

“Ecuador rejects every attempt by Colombia to evade its responsibility for having transgressed the international norms that apply between states,” she said.

Ospina, however, repeated his government’s claims that files found on Reyes’ computer left no doubt “that the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador have been negotiating with the FARC rebels”.

US President George W. Bush said Tuesday that he fully supports Colombia in the dispute and criticised the provocative manoeuvres of Venezuela, which increased military units on the Colombian border.

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