Colombia and Ecuador have settled the suit Quito filed five years ago with the International Court of Justice over the effects on Ecuadorian citizens, crops and livestock of Bogota's aerial fumigations of coca near the two countries' shared border, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday.

Ecuador formally dropped the suit during a meeting at The Hague involving representatives of both governments and the ICJ president, Santos said.

"It's good news for diplomacy, good news for Colombia, good news for our relations with Ecuador and our regional relations," the head of state said.

Ecuador brought the case to the ICJ in 2008, following several years of fruitless bilateral exchanges over the fumigation.

Quito said the herbicide that Colombian planes sprayed near the shared border was carried by the wind into Ecuadorian territory, causing environmental damage, livestock deaths and health problems for humans.

Bogota, meanwhile, said the herbicide - glyphosate, sold in the United States under the brand name "Roundup" - is innocuous and that aerial fumigation was necessary to combat the cultivation of coca, the raw material of cocaine.

Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, said late last month that an agreement with Colombia to drop the suit was "practically complete."

While Santos did not offer any details of the accord, Correa's comments in August indicated the pact would include a requirement that Colombian authorities notify Ecuador if they planned to fumigate areas less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the shared border.

Colombian planes flying fumigation missions within the designated safety strip would also to have to spray the herbicide from an altitude of less than 40 meters (131 ft), seen as a way of keeping the glyphosate from drifting into Ecuadorian territory, Correa said. EFE