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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ecuadorian FM: diplomatic ties with Colombia remain frozen

QUITO, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Fander Falconi said Monday that the country's diplomatic ties with Colombia remained "frozen."

"While there is no change of positions on both sides, and as we continue to suffer from the conflict which has lasted for 60 years due to (Colombia's) border offense, it is impossible to change at this moment the ties with Colombia," Falconi said.

Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said in a recent interview that there were worries and differences on both sides, and expressed willingness to establish a mechanism for reconciliation.

Bermudez said both countries needed to resort to prudence and discretion for efficient cooperation and joint actions on the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, mainly in the border area.

Ecuador broke diplomatic ties with Colombia on March 3, 2008, two days after the Colombian army attacked a camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Ecuadorian territory without authorization.

During the raid, the Colombian military killed 25 people in the zone of Angostura in Sucumbios province near the border between the two countries.

The two nations share a 640-km-long border. Illegal Colombian armed groups are said to often enter Ecuadorian territory to avoid strikes from the government troops or to seek food and medicines.

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