Posted by Camilla Pease-Watkin on May 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Ecuador: We respect decision of the Colombian people

ricardo patiño

The Ecuadorean government says it “respects” the decision of the Colombian people, and congratulates the country for its “peaceful” first round of voting in the presidential elections on Sunday.

“We must respect the results of elections in our brother countries and the only thing left is to await the second round of elections to know which is the decision of the Colombian people,” said Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño. “The person receiving the approval, the vote, the confidence of Colombian citizens, the only thing we can do is respect them.”

The Ecuadorean official expressed his desire to work with the next president-elect to repair fractured relations between the neighboring countries, but said that this would depend on the position of the new president in such matters.

“With the [new] president of Colombia we will talk and it will depend on his position: we hope that it will be an amicable position with our country … and we hope that there will be no problem in the relationship that we could have with Colombia and its leader.”

Diplomatic relations between Ecuador and Colombia were broken in 2008 after the Colombian government authorized an raid on a FARC camp on Ecuadorean soil.

In the run-up to Sunday’s elections an arrest warrant was issued by the Ecuadorean government for presidential candidate and first-round winner Juan Manuel Santos, for his involvement in the raid.

Representatives from Ecuador’s government did not comment on the Partido de la U candidate’s win on Sunday. However, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa was reported in the past to have said that Juan Manuel Santos wins Colombia’s presidential election, it “will be a problem,” for bilateral relations between the neighboring countries. Correa claims that he was misquoted.