Unasur seeks to solve crisis between Venezuela, Colombia

17:50, July 30, 2010      

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The foreign ministers of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) met here on Thursday to try to settle a row between Venezuela and Colombia over a claimed presence of Colombian rebel militants in Venezuelan territory.

The meeting is aimed at creating a climate of trust for the two countries to solve the dispute, which led to a cut of bilateral ties, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said at the opening of the meeting.

Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez, however, said upon his arrival that "I have talked with many foreign ministers in recent days. I found out that not all of them were convinced about this meeting being opportune."

But Bermudez said Colombia came with the aim of requesting cooperation mechanisms "against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the National Liberation Army, or any other criminal groups that could be in Venezuelan territory or any other place of the world."

Colombia said Venezuela allowed its rebel militants to hide in its territory, a claim Venezuela rejected. Venezuela has decided to cut ties with Colombia to protest.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said his government wants to restore ties with Colombia.

Maduro said the time has come to reconcile with Colombia, and that this was desired by all nations. "Venezuela has been a victim for 60 years of all kinds of violence and war that have also affected our brother Colombia," Maduro said.

"Unasur tries to make its best to surpass the diplomatic crisis and the aroused tension between Venezuela and Colombia," Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said.

Source: Xinhua


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