The Presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Panama have met on a boat anchored in a river on the border of Venezuela and Colombia to discuss territorial rights after the flooded Orinoco river moved course, cutting off a piece of Venezuelan land and effectively making it Colombian territory.
AERIAL VIEWS Flooded Orinoco river (2 shots)
GVs Bridge at border between Venezuela and Colombia (3 shots)
GV River boat summit venue
GV River boat with welcoming sign
GV Small crowd on shore
SV Security (2 shots)
LV President Lopez Michelsen of Colombia and Torrijos of Panama arriving
SV Minister and others following
GV Terrijos climbing steps
GV People watching from bridge
President Peres of Venezuela surrounded by security guards and reporters
SVs Reporters outside (3 shots)
LV Three Presidents emerging after meeting
CU PAN TO GVs Peres talking to reporters (2 shots)
SV Peres surrounded by security men and reporters walking across bridge
The border between Colombia and Venezuela, governed by the Orinoco River, was set in 1941. Several committees from both countries have made reports to the presidents following the change in course of the river over the past few months. The two countries have also held talks over the past 10 years on disputed boundaries in the Gulf of Venezuela.
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Background: The Presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Panama have met on a boat anchored in a river on the border of Venezuela and Colombia to discuss territorial rights after the flooded Orinoco river moved course, cutting off a piece of Venezuelan land and effectively making it Colombian territory.
SYNOPSIS: Seasonal flooding by the Orinoco border river has also claimed many lives and flooded about 50 villages. But a true estimate of the damage cannot be made because of the inaccessibility of the hundreds of small islands in the river. The river border has also caused disputes between people living on both sides of the Orinoco. The Venezuelan and Colombian leaders had originally planned to meet in a tent on this bridge.
But they finally decided on this floating dredge at Aracua, on the border.
Security was tight as the leaders, Venezuela's President Carlos Perez, President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen of Colombia, and the Panamanian head of state, General Omar Torrijos, arrived for the meeting. Another topic of the meeting was to be Panama's negotiations with the United States over control of the Panama canal.
This was the fourth conference between the three heads of state in the past two years. Some of the topics of this meeting were delicate, and reporters were barred.
President Peres told reporters after the three leaders emerged from six hours of discussions, that Venezuela and Colombia would support Panama in its bid for control of the canal. The three leaders re-iterated their opposition to what they called "all forms of colonialism."