Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Friday declared that his country will not retaliate with war threats against Venezuela, his only aim being to defeat terrorism in Colombia.
In an interview with news station RCN, Uribe proclaimed that “our fight is against terrorism and for security” and he stressed that his country will never intentionally make war on her neighbours. “If we are ever left with the last piece of meat, we will share it with Venezuela,” he added.
Uribe further stated that his government’s sole objective is to combat terrorism and insecurity in Colombia, “let the world know that our only interest is to defeat terrorism and never to make war,” reported newspaper El Espectador.
Regarding the tense situation between Colombia and Venezuela, Colombia’s Defence Minister Gabriel Silva met with Police and Army forces to discuss alternative security strategies along the border regions after members of Venezuela’s National Guard bombed two pedestrian bridges connecting Colombia to Venezuelan territory on Thursday.
After the meeting Silva asserted that special security schemes will be installed along the border to ensure the safety and respect for civilians living there and the government will intensify the presence of the Armed Forces in the region.
The Minister concluded by saying “what we cannot accept [as Colombians] is aggression against civilians or against our homeland and in the event of such things, we will be prepared.”
Thursday’s bridge incident was the latest blow to the faltering relations between the two neighbouring countries – relations which have been under severe strain since July when Colombia signed an agreement with the U.S. allowing U.S. military access to several airbases across Colombian territory.
Two weeks ago Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez heightened tensions further by calling upon his military forces and the Venezuelan public to prepare for war with Colombia however, he retracted this statement several days later denying that he was promoting armed conflict.
The diplomatic situation between the two governments remains unresolved.