CARACAS, Tuesday January 25, 2005 | Update
The Chilean and Argentinean governments volunteered to find
a solution to the Colombian-Venezuelan clash. Chilean President
Ricardo Lagos called Presidents Alvaro Uribe and Hugo Chávez
and expressed his "willingness to find a higher level of consensus."
President Lagos explained that he expressed the governments of Uribe and Chávez his readiness to help find a consensus and solve the crisis resulting from the capture in Caracas -last December 2004- of the "chancellor" of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) Rodrigo Granda.
Lagos said to journalists -from Germany, where he is paying an official visit- that he is willing to "help find a higher level of consensus. We are concerned about a somewhat deteriorated situation and we hope to be in touch with other rulers in the hemisphere to prevent any escalation of the conflict," AP news agency reported.
He pointed out that a week before he talked to President Chávez, who explained to him the situation. "Then, he suggested that it would be useful to talk with President Uribe at any moment."
He said that Uribe called him some days ago and explained his viewpoint.
The Chilean President stated that the had dealt with the issue "on an informal basis, with other Latin American rulers. We would like to see to what extent can we help solve it. But, for now, there have been just informal talks."
The Argentinean government Monday expressed in a press release its "absolute willingness to cooperate" to find a solution to a diplomatic impasse between Colombia and Venezuela.
The communiqué states that Argentina, as the acting chair of the Group of Rio, "is in consultation with the Troika members (Brazil and Guayana) to offer its mechanisms of political concurrence."
In the official press release, sourced in Buenos Aires, the Argentinean Foreign Minister "invites" the governments of Presidents Uribe and Chávez to find "a satisfactory solution for the situation."
Also, Argentina "backs and supports the initiatives to facilitate the dialogue undertaken both by the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Peru."
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.