Colombia’s ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, met Monday with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro welcomed Benedetti at the Palacio de Miraflores, the presidential residence in Caracas, to discuss the need to reestablish diplomatic and commercial ties between their two nations after years of deteriorating relations.
The two held a friendly meeting in which they exchanged traditional gifts from each country. The reunion was made public by Benedetti, who presented his credentials as ambassador of his country in Caracas.
“We spoke with President Nicolas Maduro about the urgency of reestablishing the ties of friendship that should never have been broken,” he said on Twitter.
Relations between the two countries were severed in 2019 when former Colombian President Ivan Duque supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his efforts to oust Maduro three years ago. Embassies and consulates in both countries were closed, as well as the border between the two countries.
Leftist leader Gustavo Petro was sworn in earlier this month as the new president of Colombia with the pledge of rebuilding diplomatic relations with Venezuela.
“I welcomed Armando Benedetti, Ambassador-designate of Colombia to Venezuela. We are peoples with a glorious history of rebellion and freedom, united in deep Bolivarian brotherhood. May our union be unbreakable,” Maduro said on his Twitter account.
The president´s emissary, Felix Plasencia, is scheduled to meet Petro in the coming days.
Reestablishing trade relations is one of the main objectives of Benedetti, who said that more than 8 million Colombians live from binational trade with Venezuela.
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