The Dominican Republic’s ambassador to Bogota resigned amid controversy Monday night, after he was excluded from a meeting between his nation’s president and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe last Friday.
Ambassador Angel Lockward told Semana.com that he had resigned due to a “detail that was not to [his] liking,” describing it as a matter of “indelicate protocol.”
Semana revealed that Colombia’s foreign ministry’s head of protocol, Julio Riaño, did not invite Lockward to the meeting between Uribe and Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, which aimed to begin the process of mediation between Colombia and Venezuela.
However, a Colombian delegation of Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez, Deputy Defense Minister Jorge Mario Eastman, and Defense Minister Gabriel Silva flanked Uribe at the meeting, while Fernandez was accompanied by Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales and Director of Information, Press and Publicity Rafael Nuñez.
Lockward recognized that there were “differences” between himself and Riaño and said it was best for him to withdraw from the situation. His resignation is irreversible.
The Dominican Republic is heading a “group of friend countries,” which was formed following a verbal clash between Uribe and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, to mediate the resumption of broken diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries.
Caracas severed ties with Bogota after Uribe’s government signed a controversial pact with the U.S., granting the North American superpower access to seven military bases around Colombia.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro was scheduled to meet with Fernandez in Santo Domingo on Monday, but cancelled the meeting for “scheduling reasons.”
The Venezuelan government has said that they will not seek to repair ties with Colombia while President Alvaro Uribe is in power.