Venezuela’s foreign ministry released a statement Thursday in which it told Colombia that its spokespeople must “cease aggressions,” which are “solely responsible for damage caused to bilateral relations.”
In the statement Venezuela said “once again the Colombian foreign minister, Jaime Bermudez, has made disrespectful comments in which he hopes to set an agenda and jeopardize future relations between Venezuela and Colombia.”
The statement blames the government of the outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for poor relations and adds that even close to the end of the administration “its spokesmen maintain an aggressive line that hampers the development of normal relations.”
Venezuela criticizes such conduct and reminds Colombia that “a basic condition for maintaining stable relations” is that Bogota maintains “absolute respect towards Venezuela, its people and its authorities.”
The release of the statement follows a comment by Bermudez Wednesday that “profound issues” like security and trade need to be discussed with neighboring nation Venezuela.
Bermudez’s comments followed Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos‘ announcement that he was “very pleased” that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had expressed willingness to repair diplomatic ties with Colombia.
Colombia’s relations with Venezuela were broken in 2009 when Bogota signed a pact with the U.S. allowing their troops access to seven military bases around the country. Venezuela sees the U.S. military presence in Colombia as a threat to the region.