Colombia's ties with Venezuela worsening over rebels dispute

14:21, July 17, 2010      

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The relations between Colombia and Venezuela worsened as Colombia asked the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday to deal with its complaint that Venezuela tolerated the presence of Colombian rebel groups.

In a statement from Colombia's presidential office on Friday, Colombia requested the OAS to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the presence of Colombian rebel groups in Venezuela's territory.

"This request is due to the innumerable failed efforts to solve this grave problem through the direct dialogue with Venezuela," said the Colombian statement.

In another statement earlier, Colombia said that during six years it had "a patient dialogue with Venezuela, to which on many occasions, it gave information about the location of terrorist in Venezuela's territory."

However, "everything was unsuccessful in relation to the terrorist leaders," it said.

"We have to think about going again to the international organizations" to present the issue, Colombia said, adding that it "had information about the presence of terrorists in Venezuela."

Colombia accused Venezuela on Thursday of tolerating rebels who cross into Venezuela's territory to seek shelter.

"The reason for the deterioration in relations between Venezuela and Colombia is the continued and permanent tolerance of the presence of terrorists in that country," said Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva.

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