Uribe makes Chavez legal threat

Colombian president wants to take Venezuelan president to ICC over Farc link.

    Venezuela has sent forces to the
    border with Colombia [Reuters]
    Venezuela says Colombia is lying about the documents.
    George Bush, the US president, reiterated his support for Colombia and accused Venezuela, which is moving troops to the Colombian border, of "provocative manoeuvres".
    Bush said he had telephoned Uribe and told him that "America would continue to stand with Colombia".
    Accusations traded
    Colombia had apologised to Ecuador for the pre-dawn Sunday raid on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) camp that killed Raul Reyes, a senior leader of the long-running uprising.
    Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorean president, who rejected the apology, arrived in Peru on Tuesday to start a five-nation tour of the region - including Venezuela - to lobby for support against what he calls a premeditated violation of sovereignty by Colombia.
    At a news conference in the capital, Lima, Correa accused Uribe of being a "bold-faced liar'' who had "stabbed [Ecuador] in the back".

    "President Uribe doesn't want peace, he wants war," Correa said.

    "We will try to solve this difference through peaceful, diplomatic means,
    although we are willing to go to the ultimate consequences."
    However Uribe rejected the claims, saying he would not permit his nation to be drawn into open war.
    "Colombia has never been a country to go to war with its neighbours," he said on Tuesday.
    Colombia has more than 250,000 soldiers, trained and equipped by the US, while Venezuela and Ecuador have about 172,000 active troops between them.
    US backing
    Latin American countries have scrambled to defuse the crisis, which deepened after Venezuela and Ecuador sent troops to their borders with Colombia.
    Lucia Newman, Al Jazeera's Latin America editor, said that most countries blamed Colombia for triggering the crisis by carrying out the cross-border raid into Ecuador.
    Venezuela stopped trade with Colombia at some border points on Tuesday after expelling Colombia's ambassador and embassy officials from its capital, Caracas, on Monday.
    Ecuador has cut diplomatic ties with Colombia entirely.
    An emergency session of the 34-member Organisation of American States was to take place in Washington later on Tuesday in a bid to calm rising tensions.
    Colombia has said its raid on the rebel camp was an "autonomous operation," but admitted US intelligence was crucial.
    Washington has supplied Bogota with $5bn under Plan Colombia since 2000, which is said be to fight drug trafficking.
    But much of the money has gone to combating the Farc, which profits from the narcotics trade and kidnappings, and which is considered a "terrorist organisation" by the US and the EU.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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