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Venezuela reestablishes diplomatic ties with Colombia

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced Sunday, that the nation has reestablished diplomatic relations with Colombia and will send its diplomatic staff back to the Colombian capital Bogota immediately.

Venezuela withdrew its embassy staff from Colombia and expelled Colombian diplomats in the country on last Sunday in support of Ecuador after the Colombian military trespassed Ecuadoran territory in a cross-border raid against the rebels of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The ministry said it is reopening its embassy in Bogota and is willing to receive Colombia diplomats to the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

A statement from the ministry said the Venezuelan government was pleased to see a victory for peace and sovereignty at a Friday meeting in the Dominican Republic’s capital Santo Domingo, where the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela shook hands and agreed to end the three-nation dispute. A lot of work needs to be done before Ecuador and Colombia can re-establish diplomatic relations, visiting Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza said Sunday.

Ecuador broke off diplomatic ties with Colombia after troops from that country entered Ecuadoran territory on March 1 to attack a camp of the anti-government Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Ecuador called the raid a violation of its territorial sovereignty. Insulza, who has just begun his fact-finding mission to Ecuador, told reporters he believes a number of disputes need to be resolved before the two countries can restore mutual ties. Foreign ministers of the OAS, a pan-American bloc aimed at strengthening regional peace and security, will meet to review the case on March 17. Insulza will lead his team Monday to the northern Ecuadoran province of Sucumbios, where Colombia launched its unilateral cross-border raid, killing FARC second-in-command Raul Reyes. He will later travel to Colombia with his team. called the raid a violation of its territorial sovereignty.

Ecuador and Colombia agreed to declare the border crisis over Friday at the 20th Rio Group summit held in the Dominican Republic, during which the presidents of the two countries publicly shook hands to express their willingness to resolve the dispute. However, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said Saturday it would take a little time before his country formally restored diplomatic ties with Colombia. “We will coordinate with Venezuela in setting up a timeline for reestablishing our ambassadors in Bogota,” he said, adding that it would be difficult to recover trust in the current Colombian government. (