( dpa )- Nicaragua broke its diplomatic relations with Colombia "in solidarity with Ecuador" to protest a cross-border raid over the weekend, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Thursday.
The raid by Colombian forces into Ecuador on Saturday, which claimed the lives of Raul Reyes - second-in-command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - and 23 other rebels, has provoked great tension between Colombia and its neighbours, Ecuador and Venezuela.
Ortega broke ties with Bogota after meeting with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Thursday in Managua, amid a diplomatic offensive by the Ecuadorian president in search of support.
"We are breaking with the terrorist policy of the government of (Colombian President) Alvaro Uribe, not with the Colombian people," Ortega said.
He said he would withdraw diplomatic personnel from Bogota and will ask the Colombian government to take its representatives out of Nicaragua within a few hours.
Correa, in turn, thanked the Central American country for "this show of solidarity."
Correa insisted that this crisis is not the result of a bilateral issue but rather a "regional problem," and stressed that the Colombian government "can destabilize the whole of Latin America."