Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Sunday praised regional body Union of South American Nations UNASUR’s role in mediating the resumption of fractured relations between Colombia and Venezuela.
Chavez said that UNASUR Secretary General Nestor Kirchner “deserves all our gratitude and our recognition for his patience, persistence and efficient exercise of mediation” of the Colombia-Venezuela crisis, which occurred when Colombia made public allegations that Venezuelan was harboring left-wing guerrillas in its borders.
The Venezuelan leader said that UNASUR’s intervention had avoided “the certain possibility of fratricide” that would have occurred had the two countries gone to war, which “is no small thing.”
Chavez said that the meeting between himself and new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the Colombian port of Santa Marta Tuesday – which led to the restoring of diplomatic ties – was “historic” and showed that the differences between the two countries can be overcome “if there is political will to do so.”
At the Santa Marta summit, Chavez and Santos agreed to form five bilateral commissions whose goal will be to repair fractured ties between the neighbor nations.
Chavez broke ties on July 22 and said he would not consider re-establishing them while former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe remained in office. He requested the meeting with Santos after he was sworn in to office on August 7.