Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin announced Monday that Colombia and Ecuador will seek to end trucker conflicts along their joint border.
“We want the decision of the states to enforce respect and most assuredly we will move forward on this issue. During this visit, the minister of transport will accompany us, and we hope there will be results,” said Holguin on a meeting that will take place between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Ecuadorian counterpart, Rafael Correa, in Quito on Tuesday, radio station Radio Caracol reported.
The Colombian Truckers Association began a protest in October following claims of “unfair competition” as Ecuador failed to comply with agreements established by the Community of Andean Nations regarding the transportation of cargo into the country.
Following the 2008 Colombian military operation to get Reyes, Ecuador beefed up troop presence along the border with military exercises quadrupling from 22 in 2007 to 250 in 2009. Colombian refugees seeking safety from the Ecuadorian government have complained about insecurity and mass killings, according to the Washington Times.
Santos arrived in Ecuador Monday. Tomorrow’s official meeting with Correa will come almost four years after Colombian troops entered Ecuador during a military operation to take out former FARC spokesman, Raul Reyes. Those actions led to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Holguin said that Tuesday’s meeting will be “a big step in over a year and four months of restoring relations focused on border security and trade.”