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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008, 22:33 GMT
Venezuela restores Colombia ties
Colombia's Alvaro Uribe shakes hands with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez at a Latin American summit on Friday
The crisis was eased when leaders met at a regional summit
Venezuela says it will immediately normalise diplomatic relations with Colombia, a week after ties were cut.

Caracas broke off relations with its neighbour in protest at a Colombian military raid into Ecuador, in which a leading leftist Farc rebel was killed.

Over subsequent days, regional tensions soared, but the crisis was defused when leaders met at a summit on Friday.

But Ecuador, which accused Colombia of violating its sovereignty, has said it will take some time to restore ties.

Threat of confrontation

Last week's crisis saw both Venezuela and Ecuador deploy troops to their respective borders with Colombia, diplomatic ties between Colombia and a number of countries in the region cut, and commercial traffic disrupted.

[Friday's summit was] a victory for peace and sovereignty... and demonstrated the importance of Latin American unity in overcoming conflicts
Venezuelan foreign ministry

Observers said the tensions threatened to spill over into military confrontation, but just a week after the crisis blew up it was apparently resolved at Friday's Rio Group summit.

There, the region's leaders accepted a 20-point declaration by the Organization of American States (OAS), sealing their reconciliation with smiles and handshakes.

The declaration included a promise by President Alvaro Uribe that Colombia's forces would never again violate the territory of its neighbours.

In its statement on Sunday, Venezuela's foreign ministry called the summit outcome a "victory for peace and sovereignty... which demonstrated the importance of Latin American unity".

It said Venezuelan diplomatic personnel would be immediately returned to their embassy in Bogota, and Colombian personnel had been invited to do the same.





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