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Through an exchange of diplomatic notes, the United States and Venezuela have agreed to return ambassadors to their respective posts in Washington and Caracas, ending a dispute that disrupted relations between our 2 nations last fall. President Barack Obama is committed to improving U.S. ties with all nations in the Americas.
Although there may be differences between us, our countries have many commonalities. Restoring the 2 diplomats is an important step that will help improve bilateral communication
The agreement restores the high level of diplomatic representation that existed before last September, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expelled U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy in solidarity with Bolivia.
The agreement to restore both ambassadors to their respective positions reflects a shared desire to improve relations between our countries, whose ties are deep in many areas. The U.S. is Venezuela's most important trading partner, representing about 26% of imports and approximately 55% of Venezuelan exports. In turn, Venezuela is America's 3rd largest export market in Latin America, buying U.S. machinery, transportation equipment, farm commodities and auto parts.
An experienced career diplomat, Ambassador Duddy enjoys President Obama's full confidence, as well as that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With his imminent return to continue performing his duties as Ambassador to Venezuela, full diplomatic representation will resume and our 2 nations will be better able to work on issues of mutual concern.