Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa will travel to Colombia’s capital Thursday to consolidate and strengthen bilateral relations, as well as to take part in a book fair, reported local media.
After being received at the airport by the Colombian foreign minister, Correa will attend Bogota‘s 24th International Book Fair with President Juan Manuel Santos, where the two heads of state will participate in the fair’s inauguration ceremony.
Later in the day, the two leaders will hold a meeting in the presidential palace, the Casa de Nariño, in an effort to strengthen the political dialogue between both governments and to work on expanding the bilateral agenda.
Santos and Correa will then hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon to offer details of their meeting.
At the end of the day, Correa will return to the book fair to meet with Colombian businessmen interested in investing in the Ecuadorian economy, and to officially release his book “Ecuador: De Banana Republic a la No Republica,” which primarily discusses the impacts of neoliberalism in Latin America.
The friendly meeting indicates a significant improvement in relations between the two countries since the period between March 2008 and November 2010, in which Ecuador broke diplomatic ties after Colombia initiated an airstrike on Ecuadorian soil in an ultimately successful attempt to take down FARC leader “Raul Reyes.”
In July 2010, Correa threatened that Santos could be arrested if he entered Ecuador, based on an outstanding warrant for the now-president’s responsibility in the airstrike, which took place when he was Colombia’s defense minister.
Recently released WikiLeaks cables have meanwhile placed the Ecuadorian president under the glare of the Colombian media’s spotlight in the past few weeks, with allegations that he received FARC funding towards his 2006 presidential campaign prompting an investigation within his own country.