PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he deeply regretted Monday's row with his Colombian counterpart.
"There is no one who regrets the incident more than us," he told a press conference after the conclusion of a two-day Rio Group Summit in Playa del Carmen, a resort on Mexico's Caribbean coast.
According to media reports, Chavez told his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe to "go to hell" during a summit debate on Monday.
The Venezuelan president said on Tuesday that the spat occurred when Uribe interrupted his reply to a presentation given by Uribe. A group of regional leaders mediate the dispute afterwards.
"I don't know why Uribe did not want me to complete my response," Chavez said.
"We are willing to consider everything providing there is an environment of respect. Venezuela and Colombia have complementary economies but what is missing is a government in Colombia that respects the Venezuelan government," he added.
Chavez and Uribe haven't gotten along with each other for some time.
The Colombian president had accused his Venezuelan counterpart of putting in place an economic blockade similar to that of the United States on Cuba by closing Venezuelan border with Colombia.
But Chavez argued that the two-way trade is around 30 times larger than what it was when he took office.
The Venezuelan president said it was his duty as a head of state to overcome personal or ideological differences, saying he hoped that Monday's spat was a moment of catharsis that would serve as a precursor to a more productive relationship.To read full Xinhua News Service story — Go Here Now.
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