Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin will meet with her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on August 20 to oversee the creation of five bilateral commissions whose goal will be to repair fractured ties between the neighbor nations.
Holguin told Colombian media that the purpose of the August 20 meeting is to set out how the commissions will work and who will take part in them.
The creation of the commissions was agreed upon by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a meeting convened in the Colombian port town of Santa Marta Tuesday, at which both leaders agreed to work towards normalizing bilateral relations.
“I am happy, it was a very good meeting, they talked very frankly about their differences, but it is also true that there is much work to do,” said Holguin, who admitted she wasn’t yet ready to shout victory.
“I would be completely triumphant if in a few months the commissions that we agreed upon give us results,” Holguin added.
The foreign minister said that the restoration of ties must be based on “respect for one another” and should be “built without insults, without offending.”
The five commissions will address the issues of: debt and the re-establishment of trade relations, an economic agreement, social policy at border zones, the joint development of infrastructure, and border security.
Chavez and Santos agreed to restore ties broken by Venezuela on July 22, after the government of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe presented allegations of a guerrilla presence in Venezuela to the Organization of American States.
Following the Santa Marta meeting Santos told press that Chavez had agreed to not tolerate the Colombian guerrillas on Venezuelan territory.