Venezuela's FM to attend inauguration ceremony of new Colombian president

16:14, August 07, 2010      

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Venezuela's foreign minister will attend Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos' inauguration ceremony on Saturday, a move widely regarded as the first step to restore ties between the two feuding neighbors.

Tensions started to build after Venezuela severed ties with its neighbor and beefed up military deployment at the border to retaliate against Bogota's claim that its rebel militants were hiding in Venezuelan territories.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Thursday said his country is ready to resume ties with Colombia and hoped Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro's presence at the inauguration of Colombia's new president would be a turning point.

Meanwhile, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said the ceremony could be an opportunity to discuss the spat between Colombia and Venezuela.

Many international delegations will also attend the ceremony, including leaders from Latin American countries.

Various presidents, Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili, Costa Rica's Laura Chinchilla, El Salvador's Mauricio Funes and Honduras' Porfirio Lobo arrived in Bogota Friday to attend the inauguration ceremony.

"Colombia is a very important country, therefore I accepted the invitation and attend this historic ceremony with great pleasure," the Georgian president told local media.

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