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Venezuela resetting diplomatic ties with Colombia

  • Story Highlights
  • Crisis sparked when Colombian troops killed a rebel leader, others inside Ecuador
  • Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador on Friday signed a declaration to ease tensions
  • In the accord, Colombia apologized and other nations accepted
  • On March 1, Colombian troops, police crossed into Ecuador and killed 22 people
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(CNN) -- The Venezuelan government on Sunday announced it is re-establishing normal diplomatic ties with Colombia after the two South American countries resolved their differences over Colombia's recent cross-border attack on rebels in Ecuador.

The move follows a meeting of the presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador in the Dominican Republic on Friday. They signed a declaration to end a crisis sparked by the attack, when Colombian troops killed a rebel leader and 21 others inside Ecuadoran territory.

"The Venezuelan government will send to Bogota, immediately, diplomatic personnel charged with representing the republic before the government of Colombia," the Venezuelan government said in a statement posted online Sunday. "In the same manner, the Venezuelan government has communicated to the Colombia authorities their disposition to receive in Caracas, in a short time, the diplomatic personnel of the sister republic."

The declaration signed earlier stated: "With the promise not to ever again assault a brother country and the request for forgiveness [by Colombia], we can consider this very serious incident resolved," Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said Friday.

Correa, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe shook hands at the end of what had been a contentious meeting of the Rio Group of Latin American leaders.

In the accord, the leaders condemned Colombia's action and affirmed that no country has the right to violate the territory of another. Correa and Chavez also accepted Colombia's apology for the incident and accepted that Uribe would not repeat it.


The diplomatic spat began March 1 when Colombian troops and police crossed into Ecuador and killed 22 people.

The dead included Luis Edgar Devia Silva, known as "Raul Reyes," the second-in-command of the leadership council of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC in its Spanish acronym. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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