Maduro, Petro hold 'very fruitful' meeting in Caracas, border reopened
This marks the second meeting after Petro took office from Ivan Duque last August and announced the resumption of diplomatic ties a month later.
Caracas witnessed yet another historic meeting between Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the Miraflores presidential palace, which comes days after the final reopening of the shared border that closed over Maduro's 2018 reelection.
The joint statement released after the presidents' meeting on Saturday stated that Venezuela "will support the Colombian government in its goal to maintain the bilateral ceasefire", adding that they celebrated "the progress achieved in the opening of the border bridges" and aimed to achieve a future agreement on the "reciprocal promotion and protection of investments."
Since Petro did not speak to the media after the meeting, Maduro tweeted: "We had a comprehensive and very fruitful meeting," adding: "We have a clear path of shared work that will continue to give positive results for our countries, in different areas. Long live the union between Colombia and Venezuela!"
Con el Presidente de la República de Colombia, Gustavo Petro, tuvimos una reunión amplia y muy fructífera. Tenemos una ruta clara de trabajo conjunto que seguirá dando resultados positivos para nuestros países, en las diferentes áreas. ¡Viva la unión entre Colombia y Venezuela! pic.twitter.com/Gi4fDnZgZF— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 7, 2023
This marks the second meeting after Petro took office from Ivan Duque last August and announced the resumption of diplomatic ties a month later. They were originally cut off in 2019 after ties between Petro's predecessors Juan Manuel Santos and conservative Duque who was accused by Maduro of devising a plan to assassinate him.
Petro even called in November to bring Venezuela back into a regional trade alliance and human rights system. The Colombian president is due to head to Chile on Monday for talks with president Gabriel Boric.
#EnVivo 📹 | Reunión de trabajo con Gustavo Petro, Presidente de la República de Colombia. https://t.co/7JDLIMHtaM— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 7, 2023
The two countries recently reopened the Tienditas bridge which had been closed since Juan Guaidó's "humanitarian aid" stunt in February 2019.
The countries' shared 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) land border, the scene of clashes between armed and criminal groups, was closed in 2019 and reopened in October 2021 but to pedestrians only.