Venezuela’s new Ambassador to Colombia Ivan Rincon said Wednesday that there must be dialogue between the two countries in order to avoid a return to their history of conflict.
Rincon said that as soon as his appointment was approved by the Colombian government, he would be ready to “turn the page” on past strained relations, as the presidents of both nations have done, “so that this relationship is based on the fundamental principles of transparency, direct and respectful dialogue and privileging of the path of diplomacy.”
The new ambassador added that Venezuela “will work hand in hand with the Colombian government to avoid any kind of crisis that ill-intentioned third parties want to provoke.”
“We all have to work for a people that are united by historic ties and blood, where diplomacy should be prioritized,” Rincon said.
He stressed that Venezuela “will never support illegal groups” and that the two countries had signed a bilateral agreement to fight terrorism at their common border.
Venezuela appointed Rincon to the position Tuesday. The diplomat has served as president of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice and has held the post of Venezuelan ambassador to the Vatican since May 2005.
Venezuela and Colombia have been working at repairing relations broken since July 22, after the government of Colombia’s then-President Alvaro Uribe presented allegations of a guerrilla presence in Venezuela to the Organization of American States.
Chavez extended an olive branch to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos following the new leader’s August 7 inauguration, and the two have committed to work at normalizing relations.
The two countries set up five bilateral commissions to resolve long-standing issues, particularly in security, border control, and trade between the two countries.