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South America Conflict

Venezuela resumes ties with Colombia

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VOA News  Mar 10, 2008

Venezuela has announced it is restoring diplomatic ties with Colombia, a week after it cut relations over Bogota's cross-border raid into Ecuador.

The presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia agreed Friday to peacefully end the dispute at a meeting of the Rio Group in the Dominican Republic. Colombia apologized for its incursion and promised to respect Ecuador's sovereignty.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa
In a radio address Saturday, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said he will not immediately restore diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia, saying it will take time.

The Colombian raid inside Ecuador killed a key leader in the powerful leftist FARC rebel group. Ecuador and Venezuela responded to the raid by taking diplomatic action against Colombia and sending troops along their borders with Colombia.

During the dispute, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of financing and supporting the FARC, a group the United States considers a terrorist organization. Venezuela denied the charge.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called on the FARC to release high-profile captive Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped six years ago. Mr. Chavez has participated in recent successful hostage negotiations with the FARC.

Venezuela resumes ties with Colombia
Image via AFP

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