HT Image
HT Image

Venezuela, Colombia resolve diplomatic crisis

Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez and his Colombian counterpart US ally Alvaro Uribe have said they are starting a new phase in bilateral ties leaving behind months of a diplomatic crisis that put Latin America on the boil.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Paraguana
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2008 12:19 PM IST

Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez and his Colombian counterpart US ally Alvaro Uribe have said they are starting a new phase in bilateral ties leaving behind months of a diplomatic crisis that put Latin America on the boil.

"From today on, begins a new stage" in Colombian-Venezuelan relations, Chavez said, while Uribe said the two presidents would order their respective foreign ministries to initiate a "very accelerated dynamic" to make up for lost time, EFE reported Saturday.

After a one-on-one meeting Friday for more than three hours at an oil refinery complex in this western town, the two leaders were smiling and joking when they appeared before reporters.

Venezuela, a leading oil producer and key supplier of crude to the United States, wants to link its oilfields with Colombian ports on the Pacific in order to export petroleum to China and other Asian markets.

"We want the gigantic trade to keep growing," Chavez said Friday, referring to the $6 billion in annual bilateral deals.

He said that Uribe also agreed to establish "more effective schemes of cooperation against drug trafficking."

Colombia is the world's top cocaine producer and a substantial quantity of drugs is smuggled through Venezuela.

Uribe stressed the potential for cooperation on agriculture and energy, while adding that projects should not only be financially profitable but also contribute to regional integration.

Though Uribe, a rightist US ally, and Chavez - Washington's biggest headache in Latin America - are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, both are populists given to strident rhetoric, and relations between Bogota and Caracas have been erratic during their tenure.

The chill in relations that apparently ended Friday goes back to last November, when Uribe withdrew his authorization for Chavez to mediate with the radical leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, on a proposed swap of hostages in rebels' captivity for jailed guerrillas.

Relations took a nosedive with Colombia's March 1 raid on a FARC hideout in neighboring Ecuador, which resulted in the deaths of the insurgent outfit's Number Two Raul Reyes and 25 other people, including an Ecuadorian citizen and four Mexican college students.

Last month, Chavez publicly urged the FARC to free all its captives and abandon armed struggle, an appeal he repeated last week when hailing Colombia's rescue of 15 high-profile rebel captives who included the most prominent of them, former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

Asked Friday whether he planned further efforts to mediate between Uribe and the FARC, Chavez said he stood ready to help, but only on Bogota's request.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(AP)

Britain tightens borders to keep out new Covid-19 strains

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:12 PM IST
The change comes into force at 0400 GMT on Monday and means all passengers must have a recent negative coronavirus test and transfer immediately into isolation upon arrival.
Close
Residents watch as United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) armoured personnel carrier (APC) keeps guard while patroling a few hours after the attacks in Begoua.(REUTERS)
Residents watch as United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) armoured personnel carrier (APC) keeps guard while patroling a few hours after the attacks in Begoua.(REUTERS)

Nearly 60,000 have fled Central African Republic violence: UN

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:38 PM IST
CAR's government has been battling rebel groups seeking to overturn a Dec. 27 vote in which President Faustin-Archange Touadera was declared victor despite fraud claims.
Close
A nurse holds a vial of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Hospital Posta Central in Santiago, on January 15, 2021. CLAUDIO REYES/AFP (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES / AFP)(AFP)
A nurse holds a vial of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Hospital Posta Central in Santiago, on January 15, 2021. CLAUDIO REYES/AFP (Photo by CLAUDIO REYES / AFP)(AFP)

WHO stops short of advising proof of COVID shots for travel

Reuters, Geneva
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:34 PM IST
The 19-member panel of independent experts held their sixth meeting in a year under the chairmanship of French expert Didier Houssin, as the death toll from the pandemic neared two million.
Close
A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, coronavirus vaccine is pictured ahead of starting inoculations at Mariebergsgarden care home in Nykoping, Sodermanland County, Sweden. (AFP)
A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, coronavirus vaccine is pictured ahead of starting inoculations at Mariebergsgarden care home in Nykoping, Sodermanland County, Sweden. (AFP)

Six EU nations express 'severe concern' over vaccine delays

AFP, Vilnius, Lithuania
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:06 PM IST
  • Ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden said in their letter that the situation was "unacceptable" and "decreases the credibility of the vaccination process".
Close
The former lawyer also previously served as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Treasury Department, where he dealt with terrorism financing and oversaw sanctions against countries such as Iran, Russia and North Korea.(REUTERS)
The former lawyer also previously served as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Treasury Department, where he dealt with terrorism financing and oversaw sanctions against countries such as Iran, Russia and North Korea.(REUTERS)

Biden appoints David Cohen once more as deputy CIA director

Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:01 PM IST
Cohen previously served as the deputy director for the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2017 under Democratic then-President Barack Obama, when Biden served as vice president.
Close
File Photo for representation. (Reuters)
File Photo for representation. (Reuters)

US imposes fresh sanctions on Iran in final days of Trump presidency

Reuters, Washington
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:55 PM IST
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in statements said Washington blacklisted 7 entities and 2 individuals in sanctions related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Iranian shipping entities, as well as slapping sanctions on Iranian entities for activities related to conventional arms proliferation.
Close
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks prior to signing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, following Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to use the 25th amendment to remove him from office for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol last week. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==(AFP)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks prior to signing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, following Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to use the 25th amendment to remove him from office for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol last week. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==(AFP)

Eyes on Nancy Pelosi as Donald Trump's impeachment trial timing up in the air

Reuters, Washington
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:50 PM IST
The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Wednesday to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement one week after his supporters rampaged in the Capitol following a speech in which the outgoing Republican president urged them to fight Democrat Joe Biden's Nov. 3 election victory.
Close
Shi came under the spotlight of local and global media after Trump's allegation. Trump had asked China to permit the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.(AP Photo. Representative image)
Shi came under the spotlight of local and global media after Trump's allegation. Trump had asked China to permit the US to conduct a probe, which Beijing ignored.(AP Photo. Representative image)

Covid: China honours 'Bat Woman' of controversial Wuhan lab

PTI, Beijing
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:40 PM IST
Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who has earned the moniker of 'Bat Woman' for her passionate research into bats and viruses was honoured as an "advanced worker of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)", the state-run Global Times reported, citing a WIV announcement on Friday.
Close
US President Donald Trump. (File photo)(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump. (File photo)(REUTERS)

US plans fresh Iran sanctions related to metals, conventional arms

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:26 PM IST
Trump in 2018 abandoned the Iran nuclear agreement that Tehran struck with six major powers in 2015 to rein in its nuclear program in return for relief from US and international sanctions that had crippled its economy.
Close
At Trump's order, commanders also cut US troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 from about 3,000 in the same period.(AFP)
At Trump's order, commanders also cut US troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 from about 3,000 in the same period.(AFP)

Pentagon says US has dropped to 2,500 troops in Afghanistan

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:56 PM IST
Senior US commanders are skeptical of the Taliban's stated commitment to peace.
Close
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File photo(REUTERS)

Joe Biden urges swift action on giant aid plan with Republicans wary

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:35 PM IST
Joe Biden’s hand was bolstered by Friday’s release of US retail sales data for December, which showed a third straight monthly decline as the pandemic sapped activity.
Close
Higgs has argued that his death sentence must be thrown out because jurors failed to consider it as a “mitigating factor” that Haynes was convicted of identical charges but sentenced to life in prison.(File photo for representation)
Higgs has argued that his death sentence must be thrown out because jurors failed to consider it as a “mitigating factor” that Haynes was convicted of identical charges but sentenced to life in prison.(File photo for representation)

Man convicted in 3 killings to be last executed under Trump administration

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:28 PM IST
Dustin Higgs, 48, who is scheduled to be executed on Friday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, says nobody alleges he pulled the trigger.
Close
US President Donald Trump.(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump.(REUTERS)

Trump administration takes final swipes at China and its companies

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:24 PM IST
The moves come just days before Trump steps down and President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Close
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has been publicly at odds with Biden.(Reuters)
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has been publicly at odds with Biden.(Reuters)

Joe Biden is told trump may be Going but Trumpism lives on in Brazil

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:17 PM IST
Bolsonaro, who styled himself a Brazilian version of Trump, publicly supported his candidacy and was one of the last world leaders to congratulate Biden for his victory.
Close
A medical worker walks next to people resting after receiving a dose of a coronavirus disease vaccine at a vaccination site, during a government-organised visit in Beijing on January 15. (Reuters)
A medical worker walks next to people resting after receiving a dose of a coronavirus disease vaccine at a vaccination site, during a government-organised visit in Beijing on January 15. (Reuters)

Chinese authorities ask people to cut down on travel as Covid rises again

By Sutirtho Patranobis , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:52 PM IST
A total of 144 new Covid-19 cases were reported for January 14, the National Health Commission said, with the numbers pushed up by 90 locally transmitted infections in the worst-hit northern province of Hebei.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP