Negotiations process between Colombia, Venezuela discussedTuesday, August 10, 2010
Chávez, Santos restore bilateral relations with help of Kirchner
With the decision of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to restore bilateral relations, the mediation process carried out by Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Néstor Kirchner concluded successfully.
The agreement was sealed after a meeting that lasted for over three hours and that was held between the heads of state, Foreign Ministers Nicolás Maduro and Marta Holguín, and Kirchner in the northern Colombian coastal town of Santa Marta.
"We did it. There was an agreement. An important step in the construction of a big, peaceful, and united Latin America," Kirchner's advisor, Juan Manuel Abal Medina, said via Twitter after the summit had ended.
After the long meeting, Santos, accompanied by Chávez, announced the "restoration of trust" between both countries "in order to re-establish diplomatic relations."
"The result has been a positive one. In the statement, we have decided that both countries are to restore diplomatic relations and re-launch a roadmap with all the aspects that we may be able to deepen," he said.
He added that "both Chávez and I feel identified with the basic need to place the well-being of our peoples before our differences."
"We're going to build a durable relationship. We had betrayed the power of our peoples," Santos said.
On his part, Chávez said that "I came here to turn the page; we've had a frank and sincere conversation."
"We have established principles and placed the fundamental block of our relationship. Now, we have to take care of it," he said.
Regarding the aforementioned, he stated that "before any rumour, we must communicate and re-establish trust. We have decided to restore full diplomatic, political, and economic ties."
In the joint conference, both heads of state also "especially thanked" Néstor Kirchner for his mediation process.
In this way, the former Argentine president was able to crown the intermediation process that was carried out, which allowed the summit to take place.
Acting as UNASUR Secretary-General, Kirchner held three meetings with Santos in the last few days, one with Chávez, and several others with the foreign ministers of each country, with the objective of creating the conditions for a rapprochement between the two governments.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and his Brazilian counterpart Luis Inácio Lula da Silva also participated in the negotiations.