Venezuelan, Colombian meet to discuss border issues

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and her Colombian counterpart, Maria Angela Holguin, met on Thursday at the Foreign Ministry in Caracas to evaluate the situation along their mutual border.

Holguin was received at noon by Rodriguez at the Foreign Ministry after arriving in Caracas on a flight from Bogota.

The schedule for the meeting includes for the officials to discuss different immigration and security matters that would permit the opening of the border.

Holguin arrived in Venezuela accompanied by a delegation that has worked closely with Venezuelan authorities in areas such as immigration, security, trade, the fight against smuggling, education, health, infrastructure, currency controls, transportation and border services.

Last September, the Venezuelan government created the New Border of Peace Mission to deal with frontier problems between the two nations.

The common border of 2,219 kilometers (1,376 miles) was closed on Aug. 19, 2015, on the order of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as part of a campaign to combat smuggling and alleged paramilitaries who operate in the zone.

On Wednesday, the Colombian foreign minister said at a press conference that the meeting with her Venezuelan counterpart was aimed at “making some recommendations to the presidents (Maduro for Venezuela and Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia) regarding the opening of the border.”

The border was temporarily opened twice in July and during those open periods more than 150,000 Venezuelans crossed to Cucuta, Colombia, to buy food and medicine that are scarce in their home country.


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