Venezuela and Colombia agreed to restore diplomatic relations and vowed to step up security along their border to prevent Marxist guerrillas and drug traffickers from mounting attacks or using dense jungle for hideouts.
The two countries will form joint committees to work on any lingering issues, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said yesterday after meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart. Hugo Chavez. The nations had been locked in a dispute over Colombian accusations that Venezuela was harboring rebels.
The next step may be the restoring of trade between the neighboring states and traditional allies.
Update: With the restoring of some political ties the next stage may come next week when Colombia's foreign minister travels to Venezuela. Among topics to be discussed may be resuming bilateral trade and initializing "socioeconomic projects" along the Venezuela-Colombia border area.
The positive gestures by Chavez and Santos have been welcomed by leaders throughout the Americas as well by the European Union. According to AHN some politicos in the region belive that the pact shows "the growing importance of the Union of South American Nations and the declining role of the Organization of American States, which includes the United States as a member."
The fence-mending by the presidents of both countries could continue with Colombia hoping to improve ties with southern neighbor Ecuador. Meanwhile, a new rift has developed between Venezuela and the U.S. after the designated envoy to Caracas publicly criticized the Chavez administration.
Online Sources - The Latin Americanist, Bloomberg
Image - Al Jazeera