Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa said Tuesday that, like Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos, he hopes for good relations between the neighbor nations, but added that actions speak louder than words, El Tiempo reports.
Correa called previous statements from Santos “pretty sentences,” saying that “actions are what count.”
On Monday, Santos expressed his hope of establishing positive relations with Ecuador, “I hope that if I win [the presidential elections] I can have good relations with the president of Venezuela, with the president of Ecuador.”
“I too,” the Ecuadorean leader countered, “could say to Colombia that we recognize no enemies, we are brothers to all, and we respect everyone, but end up bombing them the very next day. We will see what Colombia does.”
Correa went on to ask Colombia to be “coherent and consistent with what they say and do,” and to not adhere to “warlike doctrines… such as chasing after terrorists in any part of the world, or being proud of illegally bombing a neighboring country.”
Santos, during his campaign for presidency, has said that he was “proud” of the 2008 bombing of a FARC guerrilla camp in Ecuadorean territory that led to a break in diplomatic relations between the two Andean nations.
An Ecuadorean court has issued an arrest warrant for Santos, for his role in the illegal attack, as Colombia’s defense minister at the time of the bombing.
Ecuador has insisted that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Colombia is dependent on Colombian authorities providing more information on allegations of FARC activity within Ecuador’s borders, as well as handing over the hard drives of slain FARC leader’s “Raul Reyes” and other evidence allegedly found during the 2008 raid.
Correa, however, claimed that Colombia “has not fulfilled this request that they promised.”
Previously, Colombia has said that handing over the hard drives belonging to the dead FARC leader is not possible, because the prosecutor general is using them as evidence.
Correa also claimed on Tuesday that, while the two countries have officially pledged to work more closely in securing their common border, Ecuador has done much more than Colombia to fulfill their end of the deal.
“We have thirteen [military] garrisons on the border, Colombia has three. There is no Colombian state presence there … It is a failure on the Colombian side that irregular [illegal armed] groups infiltrate the border,” Correa claimed, adding that his government has invested $120 million annually in securing the border.
Correa’s statements come a day after his foreign minister congratulated Colombia for its “peaceful” first round of presidential elections on Sunday, but said that his government’s relations with Colombia would depend on whether Colombia takes an “amicable position” towards his country.