Re-establishing relations with neighboring Venezuela will be a “priority” of the Santos government, says Maria Ángela Holguín, Colombia’s incoming foreign minister.
Following a meeting with Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez, Holguín stated that the President-elect had maintained an interest in re-establishing relations with Venezuela throughout his campaign. “For that to happen,” she stated, “there is a need for respectful and transparent dialogue, in which we are already engaged.” Holguín also confirmed that an invitation to Santos’ inauguration had been sent to President Chávez.
Relations with Venezuela had deteriorated in 2009 after Colombia signed a pact with the U.S. granting access to seven military bases around the country. Venezuela viewed the agreement as a threat to sovereignty in the region. Recently, however, it has signaled a desire to mend relations with Colombia.
Holguín also announced details of Santos’ upcoming Latin American tour. Beginning July 22, the President-elect will travel to Mexico, Panama, Chile, Argentina, and Peru to meet with each country’s head of state.