Venezuela denies violation of Colombian airspace

Caracas, Sep 15 (IANS) Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez denied on Monday that a Venezuelan military aircraft had violated Colombian airspace on Sunday.

The minister made the remarks in response to an accusation made by the Colombian government, Xinhua news agency reported.

Padrino Lopez indicated that he had called for a verification of all flights by the Venezuelan airforce and had found that none had crossed over into Colombia.

“The flight paths show that there was no violation of Colombian airspace by Venezuela,” he said.

On Sunday, the commander of the Colombian Airforce, General Carlos Bueno, had demanded that Venezuela stop incursions over Colombia, especially the eastern department of Vichada.

According to Bueno, a Venezuelan military aircraft had flown 10km inside Colombia on Sunday and that this was the second such event in the last week.

However, Padrino Lopez said that a “reconnaissance patrol”, carried out by K-8 aircraft, did fly along the border on Saturday but did not transgress it.

“Our pilots have solid professional training to avoid such incidents,” asserted the minister.

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