[QODLink]
Archive
Chavez, Uribe end dispute
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe have buried their acrimonious differences over a captured Colombian rebel.
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2005 02:19 GMT
The two leaders have agreed to restart stalled trade deals
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe have buried their acrimonious differences over a captured Colombian rebel.

At a meeting on Tuesday - the first between the two presidents since the December arrest of rebel Rodrigo Granda - the two leaders agreed to boost security cooperation and restart stalled trade deals.

"We have turned the page now to settle what was left undone, speed up accords that were delayed or halted and clear up things that were confused," Chavez said at a press conference with Uribe.

Chavez had recalled his Bogota envoy and frozen trade projects after accusing Colombia of violating Venezuelan sovereignty by paying bounty hunters to kidnap Granda from Caracas.

Although the two countries had agreed last month to end the dispute, a face-to-face meeting between Chavez and Uribe was delayed after the Colombian president got an ear infection.

Mending ties

The two governments agreed to work on better communication, increase military cooperation and restart commerce agreements, including construction of a cross-border gas pipeline.

"We have turned the page now to settle what was left undone, speed up accords that were delayed or halted and clear up things that were confused"

Hugo Chavez,
Venezuelan president

Trade between Venezuela and Colombia, which reached $4.2 billion last year, slipped 51% after the dispute.

Chavez had accused the United States of masterminding Granda's capture and demanded Uribe apologise. Colombia asked how Granda was able to attend a left-wing conference in Caracas and get a Venezuelan passport.

Granda has been dubbed the foreign minister of Colombia's largest rebel group - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

At the meeting, Chavez handed Uribe pills given to him by Cuban President Fidel Castro for his recent ear infection.

"Our country is not a haven for guerrillas, terrorists or drug traffickers," Chavez said. "The US has no need to worry, we are not going to invade them."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list