Caracas and Bogota both name new ambassadors to each other's capitals, a first step in normalising diplomatic relations after recent inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

Caracas and Bogota also announced intentions to restore military relations.
Caracas and Bogota also announced intentions to restore military relations. (Reuters Archive)

Venezuela and Colombia have appointed ambassadors to each other's capitals, moving to rebuild relations between the two countries that have been broken for more than three years.

Thursday's appointments come days after the inauguration of Colombia's first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, who has expressed his intention to normalise diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appointed Felix Plasencia, a former foreign minister, as ambassador to Bogota, calling him "a man of great diplomatic experience". 

Petro named Armando Benedetti, a former senator, as Colombia's ambassador to Caracas.

"In response to the Venezuelan government, I have appointed an ambassador who will (also) be tasked with normalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries," Petro said in a video. 

Maduro added that Vice President Delcy Rodriguez will be in charge of designing a plan to reopen Venezuela's border with Colombia and boost trade and investment with its neighbour.

Resumptions of military relations

The two countries share more than 2,500 kilometers of the border.

Caracas and Bogota also announced intentions to restore military relations.

"We will continue step by step and at a safe pace to advance toward the restoration and reconstruction of political, diplomatic and commercial relations," Maduro said on state television.

Caracas broke off relations with Bogota in early 2019 after members of the Venezuelan opposition tried to cross from Colombian territory with trucks loaded with food and medicine.

Maduro's government said the aid masked an attempted coup by the opposition with support from Washington.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies