Colombia, Venezuela reestablish diplomatic ties

09:37, August 11, 2010      

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Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (Front L) talks to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez (Front R), in their first meeting since Santos took office, in Santa Marta, Columbia, Aug. 10, 2010. Santos and Chavez reached an agreement on Tuesday to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries during their talks. (Xinhua Photo)

Colombian and Venezuelan governments agreed Tuesday to reestablish diplomatic relations.

The agreement was reached between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez after a long meeting in Santa Marta, a Colombian city on the Caribbean coast.

"We are here seeking the re-establishment of relations between two sister countries," Santos told reporters before the summit.

"We shall begin patiently to rebuild what was torn apart," said Chavez.

Both presidents told a post-summit conference that they also agreed to create five working commissions to solve the bilateral debt issue, boost commercial ties, reach an economic complementation agreement, develop a working plan for social investment and establish a security mechanism.

Venezuela severed ties with Colombia on July 22, after Bogota accused Caracas of hosting guerilla chiefs in its territory.

However, tensions began to ease as a new government led by Santos took over in Bogota. In a sign of good will, Chavez sent his foreign minister to attend Santos' inauguration ceremony on Saturday. Foreign ministers of the two countries met on Sunday and agreed on the date and location of the summit between the two presidents.

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