Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin announced in an interview with El Tiempo that there will be no international verification of Colombian allegations that guerrilla groups are hiding out in Venezuela.
Holguin said that neither other countries nor international organizations will verify the claims, something Colombia had previously demanded.
“Verification, no. We are looking forward. We are going to see in terms of security what mechanisms we can implement. The idea is that the security commission defines the best methods,” Holguin explained.
Colombia’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Alfonso Hoyos, told to the international body on July 22 that a “verification mission needs to happen in the next 30 days, we can’t allow more time to pass.”
Hoyos’ presentation of Colombia’s allegations to the OAS caused Venezuela to sever relations with its neighbor. Relations were restored at a bilateral summit between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the Colombia Tuesday.
Following the meeting Santos told press that Chavez had agreed not to tolerate the presence of Colombian guerrillas on Venezuelan territory.
At the summit both leaders agreed to work towards normalizing bilateral relations and determined that five bilateral commissions, whose goal will be to repair fractured ties between the neighbor nations, must be created.
Along with her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, Holguin will oversee the implementation of the commissions, one of which which will address security concerns.
In the El Tiempo interview Holguin said that she believes that “with respect, frankness and direct dialogue between the presidents, advances [on longstanding issues between the two countries] can be made.”
Holguin added that “the creation of the commissions to move forward on fundamental issues is a good departure point.”
The foreign minister said that the Colombian government’s top priority was to address Venezuela’s almost $800 million debt to Colombia. She added that the goal was to re-establish dialogue so that “we can try to find short term solutions” to ongoing points of contention between Colombia and Venezuela.