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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ecuador refuses to resume diplomatic ties with Colombia

QUITO, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador will not resume diplomatic ties with Colombia after the latter decided to postpone renewal of relations, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador said Tuesday.

"They have talked about postponing the decision, we have made the decision not to resume relations with Colombia," Salvador told reporters without saying how long the rupture will last.

"If the situation does not improve," especially Colombia's stance towards Ecuador, "we do not rule out the eventual possibility of imposing trade restrictions," Salvador added.

The Colombian government decided to postpone the reestablishment of diplomatic ties with Ecuador because of "aggressive" remarks by Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa in a recent newspaper interview.

Correa told Pagina 12 that for a full re-establishment of ties, his government would demand that the Colombian attack "be fully clarified," and said that "the bombs (used) were American."

Correa and his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe agreed two weeks ago to re-establish ties this week at the trade attache level, a step toward normalizing diplomatic relations severed in March after the Colombian military entered Ecuador's territory to chase Colombian rebels.

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