The president of the Dominican Republic (D.R.) will visit both Colombia and Venezuela in the next few days to begin the mediation process of repairing severed diplomatic ties between the neighboring Andean nations.
Vice President of the D.R. Rafael Alburquerque announced Monday that President Leonel Fernandez plans to visit both Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “soon” to begin mediations.
“We are extremely grateful for President Fernandez’s interest and we will support any steps forward that he may make,” Uribe said in response.
Alburquerque said it was important for meetings to occur at the presidential level, in order to find the best mechanisms and scenarios for a dialogue to lead to a fast restoration of relations.
The D.R. official added that both Colombia and Venezuela had expressed willingness to begin the process, with a mediation group headed by the D.R., Mexico and Brazil.
The peace-maker group of “friend countries” was formed following a verbal clash between Uribe and Chavez at a summit in Mexico last week. The group hopes to mediate the restoration of diplomatic relations between the feuding nations.
Diplomatic ties between Colombia and Venezuela were frozen after Colombia signed an agreement last year with the U.S. that allows the Americans to use Colombian military bases and civilian airports for counternarcotics and counterterrorism missions.
Chavez believes the agreement undermines sovereignty in the region, and is its most outspoken opponent.