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Venezuela, Colombia to hold quarterly meetings

Venezuelan and Colombian foreign ministers, Rafael Ramirez and Maria Angela Holguin, respectively, agreed Wednesday to hold bilateral meetings every three months, seeking to advance in issues such as smuggling, energy and economic cooperation.

The Venezuelan minister announced the decision following a meeting with his Colombian counterpart at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas on Wednesday. "We are going to monitor the matters we have," said Ramirez, adding that the next encounter would take place in the neighboring country.

The foreign ministers took the opportunity to discuss issues such as smuggling and energy cooperation. About the matter, Ramirez said "we are going to start some initiatives to strengthen cooperation in such an important area for our two countries."

Colombia's Maria Angela Holguin said several goals were proposed relating to smuggling and illegal mining, as well as actions to resume trade and advance in matters of infrastructure. "We hope to achieve results, which both the Colombian and Venezuelan people wish for, soon. We have told our working group that Venezuela and Colombia together are a very important force," Holguin said.

Similarly, Holguin noted that binational bridge Tienditas, in bordering state of Tachira, has advanced by 52 percent and it is expected to be open by August 2015.

This work, which began early this year, constitutes the fifth and largest binational bridge between Venezuela and Colombia.

Once opened, it is expected to favor over two million inhabitants who travel between Venezuelan state of Tachira and northern Santander, Colombia.

AVN/Press-Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ November 20, 2014

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