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Colombia, Ecuador to Continue Mediation over Dispute


Colombia and Ecuador have agreed to continue working with regional leaders to resolve a dispute over a cross-border raid by Colombia's military. VOA's Brian Wagner has this report from a meeting of the Organization of American States in Medellin, Colombia.

Foreign ministers from Colombia and Ecuador met with the head of the Organization of American States, on the sidelines of the organization's annual meeting. Ecuador cut ties with Colombia after the March raid on a Colombian rebel camp inside Ecuador, which killed a commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza says officials from the two countries have expressed their hopes of overcoming the incident.

Insulza says he is optimistic because of recent progress between the two sides, but says further mediation is needed to help resolve ongoing concerns.

Insulza says additional talks are planned, which he says could lead to a restoration of diplomatic ties between the two South American nations.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador is calling on Colombia's military to reinforce the southern border, to stop drug traffickers and leftist rebels from crossing into Ecuador. She also suggests the creation of an independent body to monitor all activities on the jungle frontier.

Salvador says Ecuador wants complete transparency along the border, to protect Ecuador from further harm caused by the conflict in Colombia.

Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo says his government pledged to continue working with OAS mediators to rebuild trust with Ecuador. He says all nations have a responsibility to help combat security threats posed by illegal armed groups from any country.

Araujo says nations must agree to that international commitment, to achieve a state of peace that the region is seeking.

Top officials from Colombia and Ecuador are set to meet again with OAS officials, next week.

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