CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government is willing to help investigate a plot to assassinate Colombian President Ivan Duque, in which three Venezuelan nationals arrested in Colombia may be suspects, foreign minister Jorge Arreaza said.
The alleged assassination attempt comes amid tense relations between the two neighboring South American countries. Duque has been a strong critic of the socialist government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who he calls a "dictator," and Maduro regularly accuses Duque of plotting to overthrow him.
In a late Saturday night statement, Arreaza said Venezuela was willing to provide "the necessary police and intelligence cooperation" and had asked Colombian authorities for more information on the three Venezuelans arrested.
Earlier Saturday, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo had said in a video message that there was intelligence indicating "credible" plans to target the right-wing Duque, who took office in August. Three Venezuelans were arrested in recent days with "weapons of war," he added.
Colombian authorities are trying to establish any connection between the alleged plan to assassinate Duque and the presence in Colombia of the three armed men, police and military sources told Reuters.
Maduro in September accused the governments of Chile, Colombia and Mexico of helping "terrorists" who Venezuela said tried to kill him during a drone attack in early August. The three countries rejected the accusation that they were linked to the attack.
(Reporting by Mayela Armas; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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Updated Date: Dec 31, 2018 00:06:24 IST