Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia recalls envoy to Nicaragua amid maritime row

Colombian president shows on a map the disputed area 9/9/2013
Image caption Colombia's president explains why he thinks the court's ruling is not applicable

The Colombian government has recalled its ambassador to Nicaragua for consultations amid a worsening row over maritime borders in the Caribbean.

Colombia's move came after Nicaragua launched legal action at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Nicaragua says Colombia has failed to respect a ruling issued in 2012 by the court at The Hague.

Last year it awarded Colombia a group of small islands but gave Nicaragua a large area of maritime territory.

Colombia rejected the ruling and denounced the "unfounded pretensions of Nicaragua".

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said at the time the ruling "could not be implemented" as new international borders could only be fixed by bilateral accords.

Colombia then announced that it no longer recognised the jurisdiction of the ICJ.

On Wednesday in The Hague, Nicaragua said Colombia was in violation of its sovereign rights and maritime zones.

It asked the court to "adjudge and declare that Colombia is in breach of its obligation not to use or threaten to use force... its obligation not to violate Nicaragua's maritime zones as well as Nicaragua's sovereign rights and jurisdiction in these zones".

Correspondents say Nicaragua is hoping that the court declares that Colombia must accept the 2012 ruling.

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