Bogota, Caracas rekindle energy ties

March 29, 2012 at 8:13 AM

CARTAGENA, Colombia, March 29 (UPI) -- The Colombian energy minister said meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart on bilateral oil and gas deals is of strategic importance.

Colombian Energy Minister Maurico Cardenas met with Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez in the port city of Cartagena. They discussed the possibility of building an oil pipeline between their countries.

Cardenas described the meeting as of strategic importance for Colombian-Venezuelan relations in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has sought to improve ties with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The countries may pursue a pipeline that would carry gas from Venezuela through Colombia and on to other consumers in Central America.

Both countries had quarreled over claims the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, is operating in Venezuela.

Colombian officials had blamed Chavez for backing FARC rebels. Chavez, for his part, had accused Colombia of working to plot his assassination.

Chavez in early 2010 declared an energy emergency after Colombian gas exports to Venezuela collapsed.

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