Colombia, Venezuela presidents discuss investment, trade

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The countries have renewed political ties since Petro took office in August 2022, reopening trade and pledging to work together on issues including agriculture and border management.

Discussions at the meeting, the presidents’ second, centered on similar topics as when they first met in October – managing a newly reopened border, efforts to increase trade and peace talks that Bogota is holding with the rebel group the National Liberation Army. (ELN), Petro’s office said in a statement.

“We had a full and very fruitful meeting. We have a clear joint work plan that will continue to give positive results for our countries,” Maduro said on Twitter.

The two men have previously said they may strengthen cooperation on Monomeros, a Colombia-based fertilizer producer owned by Venezuelan state chemical company Pequiven. The Finance Minister of Colombia said that his country may be open to buying Monomeros.

Venezuela is a guarantor country in Colombia’s talks with the ELN and hosted the first round of negotiations between the two sides, which ended in December.

Caracas cut ties with Bogota in 2019 after Venezuelan opposition activists tried to send aid trucks from Colombia. Maduro’s government said it was a front for a coup attempt.

Previous governments in Bogota have accused Maduro of harboring Colombian rebel groups and criminals, charges he has denied.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

By Deisy Buitrago

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