Colombia’s incoming foreign minister, Maria Angela Holguin, says that normalizing relations with Venezuela will be a priority of the Santos government, reports Caracol.
“We believe in an approach of dialogue with Venezuela, the basis of any relationship is dialogue and in that we are engaged,” Holguin said.
Holguin also confirmed that letters had been sent to both Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa to officially invite the leaders to Santos’ inauguration on August 7.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela said last week that if both Correa and Chavez attend the swearing in of Colombia’s new leader, it would be “a good step towards improving relations.”
Holguin, who had just wrapped up a meeting with outgoing foreign minister Jaime Bermudez, also gave details of the Latin American tour Santos has planned prior to his inauguration on August 7, which the incoming minister will also attend.
President-elect Santos will meet with each country’s head of state, and will visit Mexico on July 22, Panama the following day, Chile on July 25, and then Argentina two days later.
Juan Manuel Santos was in Europe last week where he meet with Germany’s Angela Merkel, President Sarkozy of France, the prime minister and king of Spain, and former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.