Colombia and Venezuela install Neighborhood and Integration Commission

Bogotá (BLAZETRENDS).- The foreign ministers of Colombia, Álvaro Leyva, and Venezuela, Yván Gil, officially installed this Friday in Bogotá the Neighborhood and Integration Commission in what both considered a “historic day”, not only because it represents a further step in the reestablishment of relations between both countries but the first visit by a Venezuelan foreign minister in more than five years.

“What was tried to be prevented by the irrational way of breaking relations could never separate the two peoples,” Gil said after the installation protocol act from the Palacio de San Carlos, headquarters of the Colombian Foreign Ministry, to detail that already installed, The commission will work on issues such as “infrastructure, communications, migration, social, environmental and energy issues, among others.”

Colombia strengthens the bond with the neighboring country

Leyva, who has visited Caracas on several occasions in the last year, applauded that with this step forward they will be able to “return to good neighborliness and integration” to “leave behind the mistake” of breaking relations between neighbors.

Gil assured that the Venezuelan government is “very calm and happy to be able to advance in various plans aimed at increasing business and commercial exchange,” and added that this Friday they also signed a statement stating that “Venezuela will provide all the necessary collaboration and support for the work and investigations on the persons presumably disappeared at the border, which we know is an important chapter that must be resolved as soon as possible”.

Finally, he reiterated “the will of the Government of Nicolás Maduro to give all the support to build and relaunch relations that are not just any relationship.”

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Along these lines, the Colombian foreign minister harshly criticized his predecessors in the government for something that “should never have existed”: “Cursed the day that what never should have happened happened. Today is a historical milestone, we are going to forget the past and we are going to make an example of our republics, not only for our neighbors, but for the entire planet”, indicated Leyva.

This installation, he concluded, is “something very significant” and “a great pride for being remaking history that has always been one.”

Restoration of relations

This is an unprecedented visit and the first time that a senior Venezuelan government official has visited Colombia since diplomatic relations were resumed.

On May 30, both foreign ministers signed an agreement in Brasilia to create the “Neighborhood and Integration Commission”, with which both countries intend to coordinate and promote cooperation and integration.

The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Relations detailed then in a statement that the creation of this instrument is done “as a framework to promote cooperation and development in border areas, as well as to achieve business and productive complementarity.”

In this sense, the two countries commit to this tool to review issues of common interest in order to form “Binational Technical Committees” that will attend to the needs of the border area.

Colombia and Venezuela resumed their diplomatic relations, broken in 2019, after the coming to power of the president of the Andean country, Gustavo Petro, last August, a process that has advanced with the reopening of the border, in September, and the reactivation of the air connection, in November.

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