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OAS passes resolution on Colombian raid

  • Story Highlights
  • OAS passes resolution aimed at ending conflict among countries
  • Commission will be formed to investigate incident
  • On Saturday, Colombia's military attacked a rebel camp in Ecuador
  • U.S. official: Small chance Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador will fight
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Organization of American States passed a resolution Wednesday in hopes of easing tensions stemming from an attack into Ecuadoran territory by Colombia.

Organization of American States diplomats meet Wednesday in Washington.

Colombia's military attacked a rebel camp in neighboring Ecuador on Saturday. Since then, Ecuador has broken off relations with Colombia, and Venezuela says it has moved troops to its border with Colombia.

In the resolution, the OAS called the attack "a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ecuador and of principles of international law" and noted that it led Ecuador to break relations with Colombia.

It ordered a commission, headed by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza and composed of four ambassadors designated by him, to visit both countries to investigate the matter, "and to propose formulas for bringing the two nations closer together."

Colombian officials have apologized for taking their attack against the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia into Ecuador but said it was necessary to counter a threat to their national security.

Colombian officials also said they discovered evidence after the attack that Ecuadoran and Venezuelan government officials were collaborating with the group -- namely that Chavez allegedly gave $300 million to the rebels and that a senior Ecuadoran official met with them.

"(They) are making things up and there's no limit to what they'll make up," Chavez said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said his country would only be satisfied when the OAS issues a "clear condemnation" against Colombia for the raid.

OAS foreign ministers are to meet March 17 in Washington "to examine the facts and make the pertinent recommendations," the resolution concluded.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that he saw little chance of war erupting among Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Learn more about the countries »

Gates added that the United States would not need to assist its Colombian allies should armed conflict break out.

"My personal view is that there is relatively little likelihood of a military conflict between them, and my further impression is that the Colombians can take care of themselves," he said at the Pentagon.

After the OAS resolution, Bahamian Ambassador Cornelius Smith praised Ecuador and Colombia for showing "a desire and a commitment to ensure that we could find common ground."

"With the spirit of consensus in mind, we are pleased that the delegates of Colombia and Ecuador have agreed to a test that could lead to a satisfactory resolution to this impasse," said the acting permanent representative of the U.S. Mission to the OAS, J. Robert Manzanares.

"We wish to reiterate our support for a timely diplomatic resolution."

But the organization's resolution did not mollify everyone. "The facts have a cause, and this commission will have to confront that cause in its totality," said Colombia's representative, Ambassador Camilo Ospina. He added, "terrorism brought us here."


Saturday's raid by Colombian police and troops killed the second-in-command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The group, which Colombia, the United States and the European Union label a terrorist organization, has fought a decades-long battle against the government in Bogota.

Ecuador has cut diplomatic relations with Colombia as a result of the attack. Ecuador and Venezuela, whose leaders share close ties, have sent troops toward their borders with Colombia. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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