Hopes high for ending row between Venezuela, Colombia

19:50, August 10, 2010      

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Hopes are high that Venezuela and Colombia will put aside their diplomatic row when the two countries' leaders meet on Tuesday to seek a repairing of ties, analysts say.

However, the dust of their dispute over Colombia's accusations that Venezuela was harboring Colombian guerrillas, is unlikely to settle for at least some time.


Colombia's charges prompted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to sever diplomatic ties with Colombia on July 22.

But with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos taking office on Aug. 7, tensions between the two countries are beginning to ease.

Santos, unlike his hard-line predecessor Alvaro Uribe, is more practical and has voiced willingness to mend ties between the two countries.

Santos' conciliatory tone was welcomed by Chavez, who sent his foreign minister Nicolas Maduro to Santos' inauguration ceremony and directed him to arrange a bilateral summit.

Santos and Chavez will meet in Santa Marta, Colombia, at the site close to where South American independence hero Simon Bolivar died in 1830.

Chavez seems keen to take advantage of the talks to resume contact with Colombia. He said on Sunday that the talks would mark the beginning of a new relationship between the two neighboring countries.

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