Colombian President Alvaro Uribe reiterated his support for Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday, promising the presidential candidate “solidarity” and “protection” from the charges brought against him by Ecuadorean courts, reports El Tiempo.
President Uribe, speaking at the EU-Latin America summit in Madrid, responded to statements made by Ecuadorean President Raphael Correa, which stressed the seriousness of the offensive launched by Colombian military units against the FARC on Ecuadorean territory in March 2008 while Santos was defense minister.
Santos and several Colombian military officers have been indicted in absentia by Ecuadorean courts, on charges of masterminding the attack, which Ecuador views as a violation of international law.
“A nation like ours, so long torn by terrorism, cannot abandon those who have fought the battle,” said Uribe.
However, the Colombian president said that he would “continue, with determination, in the process of restoring good relations with Ecuador.”
President Raphael Correa said that he supported the investigations made by his country’s courts into the incident, which he describes as a “serious offence committed on Ecuadorean soil.”
“The powers are independent, what should I do?” Correa said when asked about his position on the matter at the summit in Madrid.
An Ecuadorean judge announced Monday that he will “soon” officially notify Colombia of the case against Santos.
Last week President Uribe expressed hope that relations between the two neighbours would soon improve after receiving a phone call from President Raphael Correa.
In late April, Ecuador’s Prosecutor General Washington Pesantez, called the Colombian attack on a FARC camp in Ecuadorean territory a “legal monstrosity” and stressed that, as the then-defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos was responsible for the violation of territorial laws and should therefore answer to the Ecuadorean justice.