Colombian Senators Question FM Demanding ‘Explanations’ on Re-establishment of Relations with ‘Sadr’

Colombian senators have once again questioned Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alvaro Leyva, about the legal arguments behind his country’s decision to re-establish “diplomatic relations” with the “sadr”, considering that the 1961 Vienna Convention is “clear” about the parameters for establishing diplomatic relations and representations. In a “right of petition” addressed to Alvaro Leyva on Wednesday, the three senators who signed the missive – German Blanco, Jose Luis Perez Oyuela and Paola Holguin Moreno – demanded a response from the minister “within five days”, as stipulated in the Colombian Constitution and laws. The three senators asked the minister to “provide a response on the legal arguments of domestic and international law, on which the Ministry of Foreign Relations based its decision to establish diplomatic relations” with the “sadr”. They respectively represent the country’s main political forces: Conservative Party (German Blanco), Radical Change (Jose Luis Perez Oyuela) and Democratic Center (Paola Holguin Moreno). Two of the signatories, Perez Oyuela and Paola Holguin, are also members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. As part of their “parliamentary mission of political control” under article 114 of the Colombian Constitution, the three senators also demand that the minister “provide explanations on the process followed to determine the establishment of diplomatic relations” with the “sadr”. In this “request for explanation”, Alvaro Leyva is also invited by the senators to “list the reasons why the current government decided to establish” these diplomatic relations. The minister is also asked “to inform whether, to date, the Ministry of Foreign Relations has given its approval to any representative of the sadr to officially set up a diplomatic representation in Colombia?”, demanding that if so, the document corresponding to this decision be sent to them. The letter from the three senators asks that “taking into account the principle of reciprocity, if Colombia authorizes the diplomatic representation of the sadr on our territory, please clarify where Colombia’s representation to this entity would be established”. Finally, “considering the long history and good relations between Colombia and the Kingdom of Morocco, please explain how the current national government assesses the impact of establishing relations with the separatist group ‘polisario front’ and recognizing the ‘Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’, despite the fact that it is not recognized by the United Nations”.