Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin committed to doing “everything in our power” to ensure that Colombia ratifies its membership of regional body UNASUR, during a meeting with Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño in Bogota.
“We, as the government of Colombia, are committed to the UNASUR treaty, to integration in South America, and we will do everything in our power so that Congress ratifies the treaty as soon as possible, that it is passed quickly by the Constitutional Court and that Colombia formally becomes part of this important forum,” Holguin said.
She called for Colombian senators and congressmen to support what she labelled “this important ratification.”
Holguin announced that she will travel to Quito in October for another meeting regarding bilateral relations and she also emphasized that the process of restoring ruptured ties with Ecuador is developing well.
“For us, each meeting with our Ecuadorean friends is a source of satisfaction. We have excellent dialogue, an excellent relationship,” Holguin said.
Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guayana and Venezuela have ratified the treaty, while Brazil, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Colombia have not. For the treaty to come into legal existence, it must be ratified by nine of its twelve member states.
Ecuador broke ties with Colombia in March 2008, after the Colombian army carried out a raid on a FARC camp on Ecuadorean soil. Ecuador viewed the raid – in which FARC leader “Raul Reyes” was killed and his computers retrieved by Colombia – as undermining its sovereignty.
The two nations have been working at restoring relations since late 2009 but Ecuador had refused to fully repair ties until Colombia handed over Reyes’ files, which, it claimed contained evidence of collusion between the Ecuadorean government and the FARC.
The refusal of the administration of then Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to provide the files became a sticking point in terms of restoring relations. However Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos handed over the controversial information the day of his inauguration and relations have been steadily improving.