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Colombia to resume full ties with Venezuela on Monday

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Aug 29, 2022 - 09:55 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Colombia will formerly reestablish diplomatic relations with Venezuela as of Monday after years of tensions.

Colombian Ambassador Armando Benedetti, appointed by new President Gustavo Petro, arrived in Venezuela’s capital Caracas on Sunday to present his credentials to President Nicolas Maduro.

The new ambassador will have as a priority the reestablishment of diplomatic and commercial ties between the two countries after three years of deteriorating 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.

Leftist leader Petro was sworn in on Aug. 7 as the new president of Colombia with the pledge of rebuilding diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

“Relations with Venezuela should never have been broken. We are brothers, and an imaginary line cannot separate us, much less a public policy of state as happened with President Duque. We will go to reestablish relations with Venezuela,” said Benedetti on Twitter.

Maduro will welcome Benedetti at Miraflores Palace to discuss several topics, including the extradition policy after President Petro said that Colombia will guarantee the right to asylum when a high-ranking Venezuelan official urged the extradition of his party’s political opposition from Colombia.

Reestablishing trade relations is one of the main objectives of Benedetti, who said that more than 8 million Colombians live from binational trade with Venezuela. Merchants in border areas have welcomed the news of the reestablishment of trade relations, as they say it will bring them new opportunities.​​​​​​​

The new Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia, Felix Plasencia, also arrived on Sunday in Colombia to speed up the normalization of diplomatic relations.

Some 2.5 million Venezuelan migrants are living in various cities in Colombia, according to migration authorities.

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