Ecuador congratulated Colombia on its presidential election and welcomed president-elect Juan Manuel Santos’ plan to put respect at the core of Colombia’s international relations, calling it a “goodwill gesture,” reports Telasur TV on Monday.
“We wish the Colombian people the best in the coming years with their new government. We appreciate the words we have heard from [Santos] to foster and promote Latin American integration, we take them as a gesture of goodwill and hope these actions we are promoting are effectively realized in Latin America,” Chancellor Ricardo Patiño said, adding that his government “invites the new Colombian government to promote this work for a truly united Latin America and fight for continental peace.”
Patiño also wished Colombia the best of luck in its efforts to “decrease poverty and increase employment.”
On Sunday during his victory speech, Santos spoke of a Latin America “united in the generation of prosperity and well-being.”
“Diplomacy and respect will be the core of our international relations … I invite [other nations] to open up paths, for the good of our people,” Santos said, inviting neighbor nations to work in unity with his administration.
In early June, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa said that he hopes for good relations with Colombia, following earlier statements from Santos indicating his desire to repair ties, but added that actions speak louder than words.
Correa was referring to his repeated warnings that diplomatic relations with Colombia could not be fixed until Colombia hands over the computers and information seized from FARC leader Raul Reyes, who was killed in the 2008 Colombian raid into Ecuadorean territory.
Santos was Colombia’s defense minister at the time of the 2008 raid on a FARC camp in Ecuadorean territory, which resulted in the severing of diplomatic ties with the neighboring Andean country.
Despite the intentions of both Santos and Correa to reestablish bilateral ties, efforts may be complicated due to the issue of an arrest warrant by an Ecuadorean court for Santos, for his part in the 2008 raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador.
Santos on Sunday was elected to be the 2010-2014 president by the Colombian people with 69% of the vote, defeating his opponent, the Green Party’s Antanas Mockus, who only received 28%.