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Bolivian/US diplomatic relations thawing out

The Americas Post - It looks like these two presidents are back on speaking terms.

Bolivia and the United States on Monday announced the end of their three-year stalemate, with the signing of a “framework agreement” to re-establish diplomatic relations.

Bolivian president Evo Morales in 2008 expelled the US ambassador and DEA agents, accusing them of supporting conspiracies by his conservative opposition.  Washington soon reciprocated by inviting the Bolivian ambassador to leave as well.

The agreement signed this week calls for “the rapid return of ambassadors to Washington and La Paz”, marking a clear thaw in the standoff between the two nations.  It also called for “a more productive collaboration for the benefit of our two peoples” according to a press release from the Bolivian chancellery, which did not mention specific dates.

“The objectives of the agreement included strengthening and deepening bilateral relations with respect for the sovereign states and their territorial integrity”… (and) “support effective cooperation against production and trafficking of illicit narcotics, based on shared responsibility”, the declaration said.

Both countries agreed to “strengthen commercial relations”, the document added.  It did not specify whether this implied negotiating a free trade agreement, which has been rejected several times by President Morales.

This agreement has been in the works since early 2010, with delays caused by various mutual accusations between both countries and friction following a recent march by Bolivian Indians, which Morales said was supported by US embassy officials.