The top commanders in the Colombian and Venezuelan militaries will meet to analyze drug trafficking and guerrilla groups in the shared border region, Colombia’s foreign minister announced Friday.
In an interview with RCN Radio, Holguin said that “we are going to have a meeting of the commanders of the armed forces, which has not taken place in many years. It will be after the meeting of the presidents where there will be a dialogue and a permanent communication about the presence of armed groups.”
According to the minister, the alleged presence of rebels of the FARC on Venezuelan territory was discussed by President Juan Manuel Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez when they met on August 12.
According to Holguin, the two countries hope to gradually “strengthen the power to fight together” against illegal armed group and drug traffickers that operate along the 1,400 mile border.
“We are aware of the skepticism on the Venezuela issue. I believe that it needs to be clear that this is a long-term issue, with steps that are taken one by one to be able to reach a relation based on trust,” the minister added.
Following the inauguration of Santos on August 7, the two countries immediately decided to normalize relations that had worsened under the administrations of Santos’ predecessor Alvaro Uribe and were completely cut in July when Colombia provided “evidence” that Venezuela tolerated guerrilla presence on its territory.