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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ecuador to intercept any flights over its territory: president

February 15, 2007

Ecuador will intercept any aircraft from Colombia or the United States that enter the country's air space, the country's President Rafael Correa told media on Wednesday.

"We will not permit, not even once, that Ecuador's airspace be besmirched by the aircraft overflights, be they Colombian or United States aircraft," Correa said in Nueva Loja, in Ecuador's Amazonian province, Sucumbios.

Correa added that Ecuador will not accept any more Colombian "aggression," referring to Colombia's refusal to stop spraying gliphosphate herbicide, used to destroy coca plants close to the Ecuador border.

Ecuador has demanded Colombia avoid spraying within a 10 km area on its side of the border, claiming that herbicide carried into Ecuador by the wind has damaged Ecuadorians' health, crops and livestock. Colombia insists that gliphosphate is harmless.

Correa reiterated Ecuador's threat to present a case to the International Courts of Justice in The Hague.

He said that his government would prepare a so-called Plan Ecuador, a peaceful plan in response to Plan Colombia, which fights guerrillas and drug traffickers with violence.

Source: Xinhua

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