Colombia, Ecuador reestablish diplomatic ties
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa on Friday announced the reestablishment of full diplomatic relations between their nations following a meeting in Guyanese capital Georgetown, according to news reaching here, Xinhua reported.
"Alongside President Correa, his foreign minister and our foreign minister, we want to announce that we have taken the decision to restore full diplomatic relations between Ecuador and Colombia," Colombian radio station Caracol quoted Santos as saying.
The two presidents were in Georgetown for the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) summit.
"To that end we are going to name ambassador so that they can take office, with full certainty, before Christmas. The approval process will start almost straight away," Santos added, describing the renewal of ties as a very important step for both nations.
Correa, president of UNASUR until Friday, described the renewal of ties as a wonderful gift for both nations.
"Before Dec. 24, we will have great pleasure in welcoming the ambassador of our beloved Colombian republic," Correa said.
Bogota and Quito suspended diplomatic relations in March 2008, when Colombia' s army attacked a base on Ecuadorian territory belonging to illegal rebel army the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Correa called the operation, codenamed Fenix, a violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty. The crisis that followed drew in other nations in the region. The operation killed Luis Edgar Devia, better known by his alias Raul Reyes, who was part of the FARC' s war committee. Another 20 people, including four Mexican university students and an Ecuadorian construction worker, died in the bombing.
Ecuador and Colombian began efforts to normalize relations at the start of the year.