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| 7/29/2010 12:00:00 AM

South American leaders to discuss Colombia-Venezuela relationship

July 29--An emergency meeting of South American leaders has been scheduled Thursday in Quito, Ecuador to defuse a bitter dispute that began when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, of supporting Colombian guerrillas.

The accusations prompted Chavez to sever relations with Colombia and charge that Colombia was preparing to invade his oil-rich country. In a speech on Sunday, he accused the Obama administration of being behind the machinations and said he would immediately end oil exports to the United States should Colombia strike, "even if we have to eat rocks here."

Political analysts familiar with the long-running feud between the two countries wondered about the timing Uribe's accusations. His government has since 2008 released reams of seized rebel documents that demonstrate close links between Colombian rebels and Chavez, who has often publicly lauded the guerrillas.
 
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