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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 January, 2005, 02:27 GMT
Colombia, Venezuela resolve row
Colombian security forces escort Farc rebel Rodrigo Granda in Bogota
Colombia paid mercenaries who had captured Granda
Colombia and Venezuela have said a 15-day diplomatic crisis over the capture of a rebel commander is over.

They said they would review the incident and work together in the future to fight terrorism and drug-trafficking.

Venezuela had accused Colombia of violating its sovereignty by paying bounty-hunters to seize the commander, Rodrigo Granda, in its territory.

It cut off commercial links and suspended a $200m gas pipeline project.

Venezuela also withdrew its ambassador from Bogota - a gesture not reciprocated by Colombia.

Colombia initially denied claims it had abducted Commander Granda, a member of the left-wing Farc, from foreign soil but later admitted paying the bounty hunters who had secured his capture.

Venezuela demanded an apology from Colombia over the capture.


A statement from the Colombian presidential palace did not include an apology as such but a guarantee that the incident which saw the kidnapping of Mr Granda from the streets of Caracas would not be repeated.

Presidents Alvaro Uribe and Hugo Chavez will meet on 3 February in an attempt to improve relations, it said.

"The Colombian government issues this communique, which has been agreed with the government of the sister Republic of Venezuela," a statement from the Colombian president's office said.

"Based on this agreement, the incident is over."

Venezuela welcomed Colombia's statement and said an end to the crisis was now possible.

Caracas is expected to issue a statement of its own shortly.

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Colombia admits bounty on rebel
12 Jan 05 |  Americas
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16 Dec 04 |  Americas

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