Outgoing Colombian president Alvaro Uribe deplored Thursday statements from the Brazilian leader Lula da Silva related to Venezuela’s decision to severe relations with Bogotá, according to a brief release from Palacio Nariño, seat of the Executive.
President Uribe deplored that his peer Lula da Silva referred to the current situation between Bogotá and Venezuela as “something personal” ignoring the threats that “the presence of FARC terrorists in Venezuelan territory represent for Colombian and the rest of the continent”.
“Is President Lula da Silva not aware of our efforts for a solution through dialogue? We reiterate with the utmost respect to President Lula da Silva and the Brazilian government that the only solution which Colombia accepts is banning the presence of FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) and ELN (National Liberation Army) terrorists from Venezuelan territory”, Uribe is quoted in a brief release.
The text refers to statements from Lula da Silva who on Wednesday said he was intent in meeting with President Chavez, with Uribe and with president-elect Juan Manuel Santos (who takes office next week) to achieve a conciliation following the breaking of relations between the two countries a week ago.
“I pretend to talk long time with Chavez, with Santos, because I think it is time for peace and not for war”, said the Brazilian president.
Lula da Silva is scheduled to meet Chavez next August 6 in Caracas and that same night will be flying to Bogotá ahead of Santos taking office ceremony the following day, August 7.
Colombia claimed before OAS that Venezuela “tolerates” the presence of 1.500 Colombian guerrillas in tens of camps in its territory, accusation which Caracas rejects and triggered the decision to severe diplomatic relations last July 22.
An extraordinary meeting is currently taking place in Ecuador in the framework of Unasur to try and defuse the situation between the two countries. Relations had already been technically “frozen” for over a year on Chavez’s instructions to protest the extension of a military agreement between Colombia and the United States.
Venezuela has anticipated that it will be making a “peace proposal” to end sixty years of violence in Colombia, basically a “political dialogue” between the government and the guerrillas. Uribe rejects point blank such a proposal and is asking for a verification mechanism about the alleged presence of FARC and ELN guerrillas in Venezuelan territory.
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