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Colombia and Venezuela to reopen shared border to cargo transport | Worldwide Commerce Information

Easing of restrictions comes as neighbouring international locations search to normalise relations after years of stress.

The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela have introduced that industrial flights will resume between the 2 nations and cargo transport will likely be allowed throughout their shared border on September 26 after a years-long closure.

The announcement on Friday marks the most recent instance of elevated cooperation between the neighbouring international locations since left-wing Colombian President Gustavo Petro took workplace in August on a promise to re-establish formal relations with Venezuela.

The two,200km (1,370-mile) shared border between Colombia and Venezuela is at the moment open to pedestrian visitors, however solely restricted cargo transport.

“We verify the federal government’s dedication to revive brotherly relations,” Petro mentioned on Twitter on Friday. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro additionally tweeted that “the trade and cooperation between our peoples are beginning off on the best foot”.

“As well as, we’ll resume flights between Caracas-Bogota and Valencia-Bogota,” Maduro added.

Final month, the 2 international locations restored full diplomatic relations after a three-year break. Each international locations have now accepted one another’s ambassadors, however the two heads of state have but to announce a state go to.

Beneath Petro’s right-wing predecessor Ivan Duque, Colombia refused to recognise Maduro as Venezuela’s chief after his 2018 re-election, which Duque mentioned was fraudulent.

Colombia’s ambassador arrived in Venezuela final month and was welcomed by Venezuela’s Deputy Minister of International Affairs Rander Pena Ramirez, who tweeted that “our historic ties summon us to work collectively for the happiness of our peoples”.

Caracas broke off ties with Bogota in 2019 after members of the Venezuelan opposition tried to cross from Colombian territory with vans loaded with meals and drugs.

It additionally closed the border, saying the help masked an tried coup by the opposition with assist from the US. Embassies and consulates in each international locations have been shut down, and flights between the neighbours have been grounded.

Maduro had ordered the closure of authorized crossing factors in 2015 after an incident throughout an anti-smuggling operation alongside the border. Foot visitors finally resumed, and a few cargo continued to maneuver by way of a bridge within the north.

The closures haven’t ended the transportation of varied items, a few of them over filth roads by armed teams, into Venezuela. Legal teams have additionally used the roads for trafficking operations.

Colombia has beforehand accused Venezuela of providing help and shelter to armed teams within the border area, a declare bolstered by a report by Human Rights Watch in March.

The Chamber of Venezuelan-Colombian Financial Integration has estimated that reopening crossings to vehicular visitors may lead to a considerable improve in commerce, from $406m final yr to an estimated $1.2bn this yr.

The Venezuelan authorities has mentioned the financial exercise inside a yr of a completely reopened border could possibly be greater than $4bn.



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