Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera on Thursday announced that 2,000 Colombian soldiers will be sent to the border with Venezuela to reinforce security in the zone.
The new troops are part of a move to “strengthen security in the border zones, in compliance with agreements made with Venezuela to improve security on both sides of the border,” Rivera said in a security meeting held at the Cucuta at the frontier, reported newspaper El Tiempo on Monday.
Venezuela announced in August that it also would send more troops to the frontier to increase security.
Rivera said that the priority will be to destroy coca and the raw materials for heroin. The defense minister did not announce when the soldiers will be installed.
The defense minister met repeatedly with Venezuelan politicians in the process of restoring bilateral relations. Rivera said that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is determined to fight drug traffickers, guerrillas and other criminals operating in the border region.
Colombian Foreign Minister, Maria Angela Holguin, announced on Thursday that Rivera and the Venezuelan politician, Tareck El Aissami, will meet on October 20 in Cartagena to launch a bi-national drug policy.
Relations between the two countries reached a crisis in August when outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harbouring Colombian guerrillas, who he said were able to cross the border between the two countries and hide out in Venezuelan border regions.