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Chavez not want "any type of relationship" with Uribe's Colombian gov't
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08:26, November 29, 2007

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Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, told a Wednesday public meeting that he does not want any kind of relationship with Colombia's government while Alvaro Uribe is president there.

"While Uribe is president of Colombia, I will not have any type of relationship: neither with him, nor with the Colombian government. I cannot do so, out of self-respect," Chavez told a campaign meeting with students in the western Venezuela state of Tachira.

Venezuela called Pavel Rondon, its ambassador to Bogota, home for consultations on Tuesday, after a Sunday television broadcast during which Chavez said he had ordered a ministerial commission to review the two nations' ties in trade, energy and military ties and added that relations with Colombia were officially on ice.

Chavez's remarks came after Uribe made a public speech, saying that Chavez should "stop acting with rage and vanity."

The row began on Wednesday after Uribe fired Chavez as mediator from talks between rebels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, saying the Colombian government was angered by Chavez's speaking directly to the Colombian government's top army general about the negotiations.

During Wednesday's speech, Chavez accused Uribe of sabotaging talks with FARC chief Antonio Marin, better known by his war alias Manuel Marulanda, because the United States did not want them to succeed.

"We were about to make the first major step: Marulanda was about to deliver the first group of hostages to me, possibly as soon as the end of this year," Chavez said. "The next step would be to go and speak to Marulanda in Caguan" in the Colombian jungle.

Seeing this progress, "Washington gave the order, 'we have to get Chavez out of there'," the president said.

However, Colombia on Tuesday said it had no plans to recall Fernando Marin, its ambassador to Caracas.

Neighbors Colombia and Venezuela are among South America's most active trade partners, exchanging around six billion U.S. dollars of goods each year.

Source: Xinhua

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