Venezuela says to join Colombia inauguration

Venezuela's foreign minister will attend the inauguration of Colombia's incoming president, Juan Manuel Santos, on Saturday.

Venezuela says to join Colombia inauguration

Venezuela's foreign minister will attend the inauguration of Colombia's incoming president, Juan Manuel Santos, on Saturday, signaling a thaw between the Andean neighbors after relations broke over leftist rebels.

Chavez severed ties last month and announced he was sending troops to the border when the outgoing government of President Alvaro Uribe, a close U.S. ally, said Venezuela tolerated Marxist rebel camps on its territory.

"We are very optimistic," Chavez told reporters about prospects for less antagonism with the new government.

"Uribe file"

But in a measure likely to complicate attempts to restore ties, Uribe's attorney filed a demand on behalf of victims of Colombia's conflict before an international court alleging Venezuela's complicity with rebels.

"Today I filed the complaint at the headquarters in the Hague of the International Criminal Court," attorney Jaime Granados told local media. "We hope they take action."

Uribe leaves office after eight years as Colombia's president.

Chavez is not expected at Saturday's ceremony, he has made clear he hopes for better ties with Santos, who is under pressure from exporters to normalize business with the nation's main local market worth billions of dollars annually.

"It is very likely Nicolas will be there tomorrow at the swearing-in," Chavez said of his foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro. He was speaking before a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.

Kirchner later said of Maduro: "Yes, he will go."

"Mediation"

Lula and Kirchner were visiting Chavez to negotiate an end to the dispute between the two oil-producing nations before heading to the inauguration in Colombia.

"I beg you to carry my greetings to the new president of Colombia and thank you for always being concerned," Chavez said to Lula, a close ally.

Santos has vowed to normalize relations with Venezuela.

Chavez feels threatened by a deal to allow U.S. troops more access to Colombia's military bases.

At the same time Chavez makes overtures to Santos, relations with the United States have suffered.

On Friday, Chavez warned he could block Washington's nominee for ambassador in Caracas, Larry Palmer, who said the government's links to the FARC were more than clear and criticized the armed forces.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2010, 10:30

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE