US Appeals for Dialogue in Colombia-Ecuador Dispute



The United States Monday appealed for a diplomatic solution of the dispute between Colombia and Ecuador spurred by Colombia's cross-border attack against FARC rebels inside Ecuador. The State Department called on Venezuela to stay out of the affair. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

State Department officials say they hope Colombia and Ecuador can resolve the dispute bilaterally or through the Organization of American States, the OAS, while saying there is no reason Venezuela should be involved militarily or in any other way.

Tensions between Ecuador and Colombia have been running high since Saturday when Colombian troops conducted a raid just inside Ecuador. Seventeen FARC rebels were killed, including one of its top commanders, Raul Reyes.

The situation was complicated Sunday when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been an antagonist of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the Bush administration, said he was sending troops to the Colombian border in support of Ecuador.

State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said the United States has long considered the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a terrorist organization and supports the Bogota government's efforts against it.

At the same time, he expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ecuador and all the countries of the region under the OAS charter, and said the OAS, which is due to convene on the matter in Washington Tuesday, would be a useful forum for resolving it.

The spokesman said the only way Venezuela can be helpful in the situation is by adding its voice to those supporting of a diplomatic resolution:

"This for us is an issue between the governments of Colombia and Ecuador," he said. "We believe it's appropriate for them to work that out through diplomatic discussion. And our hope would be that other countries would act on this issue to the same extent, that what they would do would be encourage the parties sit down to work it out. I don't really see that there is any particular role for any other country, certainly not a military role for them in this issue."

Officials here said the United States has not observed the military buildup President Chavez says he ordered along the Colombian border and suggested his remarks on the issue were mainly political posturing.

Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela have been on the rise in recent months, amid friction over intervention by Mr. Chavez on behalf of hostages held by the FARC, and complementary remarks he has made about the rebel group.

Colombia's government says documents recovered from the computer of the slain rebel leader show links between the leftist rebels and the government of President Chavez. Colombia says it plans to share the documents with the OAS.

State Department spokesman Casey said the Bush administration understands and fully supports Colombian efforts to respond to the challenge posed by the FARC, which he said has "made life miserable" for the Colombian people for more than two decades.

He said he was unaware of any U.S.-Colombian collaboration in Saturday's attack into Ecuador and said U.S. officials learned of it only after it had occurred.


This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs