Venezuela, Colombia to mend military ties

TEHRAN, Aug. 10 (MNA) – Venezuela announced Tuesday that it plans to re-establish military ties with Colombia after years of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said President Nicolas Maduro had ordered him to immediately establish contact with Colombian Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez for this purpose, Anadolu reported.

“I have received instructions from the commander in chief of the FANB (Bolivarian National Armed Forces), Nicolas Maduro, to establish immediate contact with the Colombian Minister of Defense to restore our military relations,“ said Lopez, who was quoted on Twitter by the press department of the Armed Forces.

Leftist leader Gustavo Petro was sworn in on Sunday as Colombia’s new president and pledged to rebuild diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Days before Petro’s inauguration, the new Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alvaro Leyva, met with his Venezuelan counterpart Carlos Faria, who announced that the two nations had agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties.

The two countries “ratified their willingness to consolidate the bonds of friendship and cooperation reviewing all issues of binational interest for the benefit of the happiness of our people,” said Leyva, reading from a joint statement signed by the two officials.

The governments also agreed to “boost security and peace” on their shared border.

Petro announced during his presidential campaign that his government would seek to reestablish channels of communication with Maduro, a move that represented a turning point in the countries’ bilateral relations.

Since President Ivan Duque took office in 2018, Colombia had supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his efforts to oust Maduro, who broke diplomatic relations with the neighboring country and ordered the departure of diplomats from its territory.


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