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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Colombia, Ecuador Officials Work to Restore Diplomatic Ties

By Fabiola Moura

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia and Ecuador began taking steps to restore diplomatic relations more then a year after severing ties over a Colombian military action across the border between the two Latin American nations.

Colombian and Ecuadorian foreign ministers told reporters in New York late yesterday that an agenda was set that may lead to restored diplomatic relations.

Commissions will be created in 15 days to work on the points of disagreement and reach a final accord, “with good faith and utmost willingness from the two countries,” Colombia’s Jaime Bermudez said at the Ecuadorian mission in the United Nations in New York.

Ecuador cut ties with its neighbor about 18 months ago, following Colombia’s raid across the border to kill a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Colombia’s government reiterated its commitment to not carry out military or security operations in Ecuadorian territory, according to a statement provided to reporters.

Ecuador’s government said it won’t tolerate the presence of armed groups in its territory. Any armed incursion will be repelled, with the use of strength if needed, according to the joint statement.

The governments of the countries also agreed to work with the Carter Center and with the Organization of American States to solve pending claims.

“Above all, there is the need of building a positive agenda,” Ecuador’s Fander Falconi said.

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