By Iain Bruce
BBC News, Caracas
Venezuela has rejected Colombia's suggestion of a regional summit to resolve the dispute over the kidnapping of a Farc rebel leader in Caracas.
Before the dispute relations had been warming
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is ready to talk face-to-face with his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe.
But he said Colombia would first have to apologise for what he is calling a crime against Venezuelan sovereignty.
Venezuela has cut commercial ties with Colombia and recalled its envoy over the affair.
Before his assembled cabinet and with millions of Venezuelans watching on TV, President Hugo Chavez stretched out his hand to the camera and spoke directly to the man he called his friend.
"I do not believe you knew what was going on," he told Alvaro Uribe, but he said the Colombian president must now recognise the crime against Venezuela's sovereignty committed by his officials.
Once that was done, he would welcome direct talks.
Without it, the suspension of economic relations declared on Friday would continue.
Colombia admits paying mercenaries to capture Granda
He said Venezuela would issue an official statement shortly.
The Venezuelan leader said he did not believe the suggestion of a summit with other presidents was appropriate.
He said the bribing of Venezuelan officers to help Colombia kidnap the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) leader Rodrigo Granda in Caracas in December was a bilateral issue.
However, he also made clear he believed the conflict had been engineered by those in both countries and in the United States who want to undermine good relations between the two countries.
The US on Saturday offered its "100% support" for Colombia's actions.