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Santos ready to mend relations


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BOGOTA, Colombia – Juan Manuel Santos, sworn in Saturday as Colombia’s 59th president, vowed to cement security gains but declared himself open to dialogue with rebels in hopes of ending the Western Hemisphere’s only armed conflict.He also got to work immediately mending frayed relations with neighbouring Venezuela and Ecuador.Although he was invited, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was not among the 14 Latin American and Caribbean leaders, including Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, attending Saturday’s ceremony on the carpeted cobblestones of Bogota’s central plaza. Also absent was Chavez’s close ally President Evo Morales of Bolivia. (AP)

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