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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 22:55 GMT
El Salvador probes US fund claims
El Salvador's President Tony Saca, 13 January 2008
Mr Saca has ordered an investigation into the funding claim
El Salvador's president has said he is confident ties with Venezuela will stay strong despite US allegations Caracas plans to fund his political rivals.

Antonio Saca said he hoped an investigation he had ordered into the allegations would help solve the "impasse" between the two countries.

The US claims Venezuela intends to fund a Salvadorean opposition left-wing party's electoral campaign.

Venezuela's government has denied it has any financial links with the party.

Mr Saca recalled El Salvador's diplomatic envoy from Caracas after receiving information last week from US intelligence regarding the alleged funding of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Mr Chavez scoffed at the accusations, made by US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, that his government was to "provide generous campaign funding" to the FMLN ahead of presidential elections in 2009.

He said the FMLN needed no extra financial support as it was a "solid" and "well-organized" party with popular backing.

Mr Chavez described the allegations as just another US attempt to discredit him and cause divisions in the region.

The links have also been denied by Mauricio Funes, the FMLN's candidate in next year's presidential election.

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