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Colombia, Ecuador Agree to Fully Restore Ties


Colombia and Ecuador have agreed to fully reestablish diplomatic ties that were severed more than two years ago over a bombing raid.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made the announcement Friday in Georgetown, Guyana during a summit of the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR. He said ambassadors were set to return to their posts before Christmas.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, for his part, described the full reestablishment of relations with Colombia as the best present for the citizens of both nations.

Ecuador broke off relations with Colombia following a March 2008 cross-border raid targeting a Colombian FARC rebel camp in Ecuador. The raid left at least 20 people dead, including a FARC guerrilla commander, Raul Reyes.

At the time of the raid, Mr. Santos served as Colombia's defense minister.

Also Friday, UNASUR officials honored former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who died last month. Mr. Kirchner served as UNASUR's first secretary-general. He was the husband of current Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

A replacement for Mr. Kirchner has not been named.

The 12-nation UNASUR was created in May 2008. It is designed to coordinate economic and defense policies and settle regional disputes.

Member nations include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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