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Saturday, 26 May, 2001, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Colombian defence minister resigns
President Andres Pastrana
President Pastrana has accepted the minister's resignation
Colombian Defence Minister Luis Fernando Ramirez has tended his resignation, a spokesman for President Andres Pastrana said late on Friday .

Mr Ramirez' resignation follows the resignation on Thursday of Development Minister Augusto Ramirez Ocampo, who is preparing his run for the presidency in next year's election.

Press reports lately had been hinting at the possibility that Mr Ramirez might also quit to run for president or to return to private business.

Government officials, however, said Mr Ramirez had decided to continue as cabinet minister at Mr Pastrana's request.

Motive unknown

His resignation has caused surprise and no motive was given in Mr Ramirez' letter of resignation issued after his announcement.

The role of defence minister has now fallen to Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Fernando Tapias, Colombia's top military officer.

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25 Feb 01 | Americas
Colombia seeks more US aid
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