Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Wednesday he will tirelessly seek the normalization of relations with other countries in the region as tensions with neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela are harming the country’s trade.
Uribe expressed his “anguish” that inhabitants of the border regions are not able to trade with their neighbors, “which is a natural right” in these regions.
Colombia’s relations with neighbor Ecuador worsened in the first half of 2008 when the Colombian military bombed guerrilla camp on the Ecuadorean side of the border. Businessmen from both countries have called on their governments to normalize relations, because their businesses were seriously affected by dropping trade.
Analysts have said the troubled trade will slow down Colombia as it tries to find its way out of the recession caused by the international economic crisis.
The relation with Venezuela worsened after Colombia announced to allow United States forces on at least seven military bases in Colombia. Venezuelan President Head of State has since implemented measures that have caused a massive drop in the export to the neighboring country.
Colombia and Ecuador are openly talking to improve relations. There has been no obvious signs of improved relations with Venezuela.