OAS stops short of condemning Colombia

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 5, 2008 2:40pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Organization of American States stopped short on Wednesday of condemning Colombia for crossing into Ecuador to kill leftist guerrillas, but said Colombia had violated international law.

The OAS, Western Hemisphere's top diplomatic body, agreed in a resolution to form a commission to visit Ecuador and Colombia to investigate the Colombian raid against the FARC guerrillas that led to a crisis that has raised fears for regional stability.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had asked the OAS to quickly condemn Colombia for its actions in Ecuador's territory on Saturday, and most Latin American leaders supported him.

But the United States backed its ally Colombia, saying the raid was against a dangerous international terrorist group.

Venezuela has deployed tanks and air and sea forces toward the Colombian border, saying it needs to stop Colombia from making similar military incursions on its territory.

(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; Writing by Fiona Ortiz)

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