Ecuadorian president to resign if links to rebels are proved

May 18th, 2008 - 12:07 am ICT by admin  

Lima (Peru), May 17 (DPA) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said here Saturday that he is willing to step down from office if it is proved that his government backed the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Correa made this comment amid allegations by Colombian authorities that FARC - who hold former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and over 700 others hostage - may have given funds to Correa’s presidential campaign and that the government in Quito may have granted protection to the rebels.

“If they prove that, I put my position in the hands of the Ecuadorian people,” Correa said.

The allegations are based on the contents of computers seized March 1, following a cross-border raid by Colombian forces on Ecuadorian territory. FARC number two Raul Reyes was killed in the operation, along with 25 people including one Ecuadorian citizen.

On Thursday, Interpol confirmed that the laptop computers have not been tampered with since they were seized, although the organization did not comment on their contents.

Colombian officials have said that the computers hold files that refer to the alleged support that Venezuelan and Ecuadorian authorities gave FARC, as well as rebel plans to expand in the region.

Correa stressed that the international community would not have any reason to believe what the rebels say, even if they said such things.

“Do we or do we not believe FARC?” he asked.

Correa - who Friday attended the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean summit - said he has asked the Organization of American States to carry out a probe to establish whether the allegations against him are true.

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