Colombia will use the “iron fist and velvet glove” of diplomacy to defend the rights of San Andres residents, stated the Colombian government Friday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is expected to meet with his Nicaraguan counterpart, Daniel Ortega, in Mexico. The two will discuss a controversial ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that granted Colombia sovereignty over the islands of San Andres and Providencia while handing a large chunk of the surrounding waters to Nicaragua.
“With President Ortega I hope that I can say that we handle this in the most civilized and respectful way possible,” claimed Santos.
The Colombian head of state has already said that Colombia will not abide by the ICJ’s ruling, “until the rights of Colombians are guaranteed.”
On November 28, Santos confirmed Colombia’s withdrawal from the Pact of Bogota, which obliged it to abide by U.N. decisions and settle territorial disputes peacefully.
The ICJ’s decision came earlier this month on November 19, 11 years after Nicaragua challenged Colombia’s claims over the islands and sea located in the western Caribbean.