Colombia, Venezuela leaders to meet on diplomatic rift

Venezuelan President broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia on July 22.

Bogota: The Presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, will meet on Tuesday in Bogota on their countries` diplomatic rift, Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin has said.

Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia on July 22, one week after Santos`s predecessor Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harbouring some 1,500 leftist Colombian rebels in its territory, which Chavez strongly denied.

Santos was inaugurated on Saturday, and immediately offered to talk with Chavez in hopes of mending relations.

Chavez, who sent his Foreign Minster Nicolas Maduro to Santos` swearing in ceremony, answered that he was willing to "turn the page" and work with the new President, adding that if Santos could not travel to Venezuela, he would be willing to go to Colombia.

Holguin made her announcement after meeting here with Maduro.

"We had a frank and direct dialogue, with both our countries` aim to restore relations within a framework of transparency," Holguin said.

PTI