CARACAS (Reuters) – Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro discussed bilateral investment and trade at a meeting in Caracas on Saturday, the Colombian government said.
Since Petro took office in August 2022, the two countries have renewed their political ties, resuming trade and pledging to cooperate on issues such as agriculture and border control.
Discussions at the meeting, the president’s second, centered around the same topics as the first time they met in October – newly reopened border controls, efforts to increase trade, Bogotá’s opposition to the government. Such as the peace talks we are holding with the group’s National Liberation Army. (ELN), Petro’s office said in a statement.
“We had a complete and very fruitful meeting. We have a clear joint work plan that will continue to bring positive results to our country,” Maduro said on Twitter.
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The two have previously said they could strengthen cooperation on Monomeros, a Colombia-based fertilizer maker owned by Venezuela’s state chemical company Pekibén. Colombia’s finance minister said his country may be open to buying Monomeros.
Venezuela is a guarantor of negotiations between Colombia and the ELN, and hosted the first round of negotiations between the two, which ended in December.
Caracas cut ties with Bogota in 2019 after Venezuelan opposition activists attempted to send relief trucks from Colombia. The Maduro government said it was a cover for the failed coup.
Bogota’s previous government has accused Maduro of harboring Colombian rebels and criminals, an accusation he denies.
(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago and Julia Symmes Cobb, Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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