Celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Maracaibo on Tuesday (24 July) led to the easing of relations between Venezuela and Columbia.
GV Presidents of Venezuela and Columbia in parade
SV Presidents stand for anthems
SV PAN sword carried on gun carriage
GV Parade continues
SV INTERIOR - Presidents enter reception room
SV INTERIOR - officials seated PAN TO MV Presidents seated at table, right: Caldera, left: Pastrana Borrero
MV & CU Presidents signing and exchanging documents
Initials ES. 1800 ES. 1820
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Background: Celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Maracaibo on Tuesday (24 July) led to the easing of relations between Venezuela and Columbia. The South American neighbours have disputed for more than three years ownership of oil deposits in the Gulf of Venezuela.
Only recently, Columbia had taken steps to bring the dispute before the International Court of Justice, at which point Venezuelan authorities refused to negotiate further.
But following Wednesday's celebration, President Rafael Caldera of Venezuela and Misael Pastrana Borrero of Columbia signed an undertaking to settle the dispute by negotiation. Meetings will begin immediately on the foreign Ministry level.
The oil fields under the Gulf of Maracabio are believed to contain vast reserves. They city of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second largest, was built largely on the wealth from oil already flowing from dozens of derricks that dot the Gulf.