Venezuela, Colombia launch commissions to reboot ties

14:19, August 21, 2010      

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Venezuela and Colombia established five bilateral working commissions on Friday to reboot diplomatic relations which were resumed 10 days ago. ' Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and his Colombian counterpart Maria Angela Holguin inaugurated the commissions on debt payment and trade, economy, social investment work plan at the border zone, joint development of infrastructure and security.

After a close-door meeting, Maduro said his country hoped these commissions would open a road for stable and lasting bilateral ties after years of often thorny relations under former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe.

Holguin said she "loves Venezuela and is happy to have this opportunity to advance these ties."

This was the first ministerial meeting between the two neighboring countries since Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos took power on Aug. 7.

Meanwhile, Colombian Senator Carlos Barriga said the two countries agreed to expand the Simon Bolivar bridge in Venezuela's western state of Tachira on the border with Colombia.

The two neighbors also proposed to renovate the Urena bridge, which connects Tachira state with Colombia's Cucuta town, and construct two roads in Tachira.

On July 22, Venezuela severed ties with Colombia and beefed up its military deployment at the border in response to Bogota's claim that its rebel militants were hiding in the Venezuelan territory.

Newly sworn-in Colombian President Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez agreed on Aug. 10 to resume diplomatic relations after a long meeting in Santa Marta, a city on Colombia's Caribbean coast.



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