President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday confirmed that he will meet with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in the neighboring country on Monday.
The meeting will be held in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela, with Santos seeking to repair strained relations as a result of his meeting in May with Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
Santos acknowledged that whilst “there are some differences, as the result of a misunderstanding, I think they will be cleared up very easily.”
Maduro reacted with fury to Santos and Caprilles meeting, initially claiming it was part of a “psychological operation” intended to “weaken the democracy of Venezuela.”
Santos labelled such accusations “absurd,” insisting that that the disagreement be “resolved through diplomatic channels.”
Colombian foreign minister, Maria Angela Holguin indicated on Monday that both parties had relaxed their position somewhat, stating that although “the relationship is a bit cold, we are talking.”
“I believe we are close to resuming the path we have been on in the last two and half years,” added Holguin.
Santos spoke about the issue at a press conference with Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez, where the two heads of state signed five bilateral agreements.
Colombia’s president told Fernandez that the spirit of former Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner would be at the talks with Maduro.
“Nestor Kirchner was a witness to the meeting where we decided directly, without intermediaries, to meet with President Chavez and restore our relationship.”
“What we did together for the benefit of our two countries is very important. So I hope the spirit of Nestor Kirchner is there for us to continue these good relations with our sister country,” added Santos.