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Montevideo, November 21st 2018 - 20:56 UTC

OAS: no agreement on Ecuador Colombia conflict

Wednesday, March 5th 2008 - 21:00 UTC
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UN countries representatives at the meeting this morning UN countries representatives at the meeting this morning

Country members from the Organization of American States, OAS, were unable to reach a statement on the Ecuador/Colombia incident forcing the Permanent Council to suspend the emergency session until mid day Wednesday.

Discussions on the drafting of a joint resolution on the bilateral conflict saw Ecuador and Venezuela fiercely aligned against Colombia in the only diplomatic forum to address the situation on a multilateral form. During the discussions Ecuador urged OAS to condemn Colombia for violating its territory. Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador said an apology would not suffice and demanded a full investigation. Colombian forces killed FARC rebel commander Raul Reyes and 16 others inside Ecuador on Saturday. Colombia's ambassador to the OAS, Camilo Ospina, denied there had been an incursion. He said the Colombian army had fired at the FARC camp from helicopters in Colombian airspace. Ospina reiterated that documents found at the camp linked both Ecuador and Venezuela to the Colombian rebel group. An understanding was beginning to be worked out with Colombia admitting that a country's territorial integrity in "inviolable" and can not be the object of "force measures by another country". However Colombia objected to the last wording and insisted that combating terrorism and terrorism financing is a priority for the (South American) continent and should also be included in the draft. The Venezuelan delegate said that OAS would have no meaning if it wasn't able to confirm that a sovereignty violation act has been committed against one of its members. No advance was achieved but to convene a meeting of OAS foreign affairs ministers next March 17 and the recommendation for the creation of a fact-finding mission to investigate events surrounding the incident. Following ten hours of deliberations the permanent council adjourned at 01:30 in the morning until Wednesday mid day. During the discussions full of tension and accusations Colombia demanded an explanation from the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela for their alleged contacts and support to the FARC guerrilla group, according to information contained in the laptops recovered from the deceased Raul Reyes. Ambassador Ospina said the laptops had been offered to OAS to check his claims.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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