Venezuela’s ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, on Tuesday said that President Hugo Chavez is willing to reopen dialogue with Colombia, to re-establish relations between the two countries and offer assistance to incoming Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
The diplomat noted, however, that the dialogue would involve effort on the part of both leaders.
“President Chavez has expressed his willingness to walk the path towards dialogue. It is now concrete, because this is like a marriage where each person must contribute” said the ambassador.
Marquez made the statement in the Quinta de Bolivar museum in Bogota, during events to commemorate Venezuela’s independence on July 5. His comments are likely to please President-elect Santos, who spoke Tuesday of his hope that President Chavez would attend his inauguration on August 7.
It is not the first time the Venezuelan president has mentioned a desire to mend ties with the new Colombian government. Relations between the neighboring countries deteriorated in 2009, when Bogota signed a pact with the U.S. allowing their troops access to seven military bases around the country. Venezuela viewed the agreement as a threat to sovereignty in the region, but has shown some signs of wishing to repair relations with incoming administration.