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Ecuador ambassador resigns ahead of tense OAS meeting

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Ecuador's ambassador to the OAS resigns over a demand from his government
  • Ambassador says he was caught between OAS rules and his orders
  • Ecuador says it never told ambassador to break OAS rules
  • OAS meeting on a dispute between Colombia and Venezuela to take place Thursday

(CNN) -- Ecuador's representative to the Organization of American States resigned on Wednesday over "differences" between OAS rules and the wishes of his government.

Francisco Proano's exit came after Colombia requested an emergency meeting of the OAS for Thursday to discuss its tensions with neighboring Venezuela.

As current president of the permanent council of the OAS, Proano had to accommodate the request, per the organizations bylaws, according to a statement from Proano's office.

However, Ecuador's foreign minister asked Proano not to go through the with meeting, creating a conflict, the statement said. Rather than disobey his government or violate OAS bylaws, the ambassador decided to resign, the statement said.

In response, Ecuador's foreign ministry said that the government simply asked Proano to postpone the meeting so that the member states could consult with each other to choose the proper timing for the meeting that would not stir conflict in the region.

At no time did the government instruct the ambassador "either verbally or written," to not go through with the meeting, the foreign ministry said.

On Wednesday, Ecuador named lawmaker Maria Isabel Salvador as the country's new ambassador to the OAS.

Thursday's meetings on Colombia and Venezuela were scheduled to go on as planned.

Earlier this month, Colombia accused Venezuela of protecting Colombian rebels in its territory. The Colombian government said it had proof of camps and meetings that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, were holding in Venezuela.

Venezuela has denied the accusations.