Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Thursday he wants to mend diplomatic relations with neighboring country Ecuador, following Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa’s warnings that war could follow any repeat of the 2008 attack on his territory reported Colombian media.
The Colombian head of state stressed that he wishes to work with the Ecuadorean government and not against it.
“For us the word war does not exist,” said Uribe, “Least of all with brother and neighbor nations. We want to emphasize mutual and sincere co-operation, to combat the phenomena of terrorism and drug-trafficking, which is an example of what should be happening with other countries.”
This came in response to a statement by Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who said that his country would consider any repeat of the 2008 raid by the Colombian army on a FARC camp in Ecuador as a “causus belli,” an event justifying war, and would “respond militarily.”
Correa’s warnings followed inflammatory comments by Colombian front-runner presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos, who said that he was “proud” of his decision to authorize the raid, which led to the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes, and that he “left open” the possibility of a repeat attack.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Tuesday that his nation will not engage in any more dialogue to normalize relations with Colombia until after the latter’s upcoming May presidential elections.
The foreign minister said that Santos’ comments were very serious from the point of view of resuming relations, because “they suggest to us that if he were to be elected president, members of the FARC may enter our territory again and we could be bombed again.”
Ecuador has filed charges against Santos for his role in the incursion.