Uribe made the statement after the Venezuelan government accused 60 Colombian troops of illegally entering the Venezuelan territory and called “the incursion” a provocation by the Colombian government seeking to destabilize the region.”I just learned about the Venezuelan government’s protest. We will ask the defense minister and high command to carefully examine it,” he told a news conference.Colombia will take Venezuela’s protest seriously, Uribe said, adding that the investigation will soon be launched by the Colombian Defense Ministry.Colombia will make an apology if the intrusion is confirmed, Uribe said. If not, the country will also make an explanation on the issue.Uribe stressed that Colombia has not been and will never be a belligerent country, and is not willing to see any break of the two neighboring countries’ friendship by Colombian government’s operation to fight anti-government forces.Colombia hopes to maintain good relations with all the countries in the region, Uribe added.According to a Venezuelan statement, some 60 Colombian soldiers on Friday entered without permission Venezuela’s western Apure state, about 800 meters from the two countries’ border.The alleged incursion came a day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez vowed to review diplomatic and trade ties with Colombia.Venezuela has accused Colombia of deliberately destabilizing the region, following a cross-border Colombian raid on a rebel camp in Ecuador on March 1.The attack triggered strong condemnation from Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua and briefly aroused fears of a war in the Andean region as Ecuador and Venezuela ordered troops to their borders with Colombia.
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