Time needed to restore ties with Colombia: Ecuador

March 9th, 2008 - 9:23 am ICT by admin  

Quito, March 9 (Xinhua) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said it would take time to restore diplomatic ties with Colombia even though the two countries have resolved a week-long crisis over a Colombian military raid against guerrillas hiding in Ecuador. “We’ll make a timetable. It’s going to take some time,” Correa said in his weekly radio address late Saturday.

Nicaragua and Venezuela announced Friday they would re-establish ties with Colombia during a Latin American summit that ended in handshakes between leaders.

However, Correa said that it would be “difficult to recover trust” in Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s government, but stressed that “we will converse and move forward”.

The Ecuadorian president also said that he would coordinate with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who backed him during the crisis, before sending ambassador back to Bogota.

In the Rio Group summit, Uribe apologized to Correa and promised not to conduct such cross-border operation in future, but asked for more cooperation from his neighbours in fighting the outlawed guerrillas.

Colombian forces raided on a camp of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels March 1 inside Ecuador, killing at least 23 rebels, including the group’s second-in-command Raul Reyes. The attack provoked great tension between Colombia and its neighbours, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The two neighbours along with Nicaragua severed diplomatic ties with Colombia in protest to the attack.

The diplomatic crisis was Latin America’s worst in years.

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