Spain offers help to end Venezuela-Colombia crisis

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Spain offered Friday to help mend a rift between Venezuela and Colombia after Caracas broke off diplomatic relations with the neighbouring South American country.

Madrid "expressed concern" over the crisis, which came after President Hugo Chavez severed ties with Bogota over accusations that Venezuela has provided a safe haven to leftist guerrillas.

Spain's socialist government offered its services to "end this situation as soon as possible," the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Spanish government is ready to join forces with other Latin American countries and regional organisations in efforts" to resolve the crisis, it added.

Chavez also placed troops on alert along the border in the latest spike in tensions between Venezuela and Colombia, which nearly went to war in 2008 over a Colombian military raid into Ecuador to destroy a cross-border rebel camp.

© 2010 AFP

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