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OAS Secretary General Urges Dialogue between Venezuela and Colombia and Calls for Increased Humanitarian Aid

  September 2, 2015

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, today reiterated the need for bilateral dialogue between Colombia and Venezuela after hearing the arguments made by both sides in the recent Special Meeting of the Permanent Council, and noting the regional consensus in favor of dialogue.

Moreover, he called on the other institutions of the Inter-American System to increase cooperation to address the humanitarian problem on the border between the two countries.

Almagro also made reference to the procedures set forth by the Foreign Ministers of Colombia and Venezuela in their meeting on August 24 and the need for their fulfillment in good faith.

In addition, he said he has accepted the invitation of the Mayor of Cucuta to visit the border zone on September 5, where thousands of Colombians are gathered who have been forced to leave their homes in Venezuela and who are living in extreme and harsh conditions. This visit will take place without prejudice to any actions the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) deems appropriate.

In this sense he has offered assistance to the Mayor of Cucuta to address the emergency situation affecting thousands of people.

Secretary General Almagro endorsed the IACHR statement of August 27, and reiterated the call for Colombia and Venezuela to activate existing mechanisms for border cooperation to resolve complaints related to smuggling, the fight against organized crime, paramilitarism, and to strengthen mechanisms for joint dialogue on other issues such as attention to public health, social assistance and the environment.

Reference: E-224/15