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Venezuela's Chavez sends envoy back to Colombia as ties thaw

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez instructed his ambassador to Colombia to return to Bogota amid signs that the diplomatic spat between the two countries is thawing, Telesur TV said.

BUENOS AIRES, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez instructed his ambassador to Colombia to return to Bogota amid signs that the diplomatic spat between the two countries is thawing, Telesur TV said.

The row started last month when Bogota accused Venezuela of supplying weapons to Colombia's leftist guerilla movement the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Chavez dismissed the claims stating the weapons in question had been stolen by FARC over 10 years ago from Venezuela.

Chavez, who recalled the ambassador late last month, said on state TV, "We don't want and have no plans to break ties with Colombia."

The outspoken Venezuelan leader is also unhappy over the deployment of additional U.S. troops in Colombia.

The United States and Colombia are currently holding talks that could lead to a boost in U.S. troop numbers at Colombian bases as part of a 10-year deal to help the country tackle its drug trafficking and terrorist problem.

Relations between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have been tense since Colombian troops attacked a FARC camp in Ecuador last year. As many as 24 guerrillas, including a senior commander of the FARC, were killed in the raid.

 

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