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US Welcomes New Drug Cooperation with Venezuela

The U.S. State Department says it would welcome renewed cooperation with Venezuela in fighting illegal drug trafficking.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Tuesday the United States would welcome a return to what he called a "robust" cooperative anti-drug effort between the two nations.

Mr. McCormack said the United States and Venezuela had at one time shared information on illicit aircraft and maritime drug trafficking, and worked together to implement stronger border controls with Colombia.

Relations between the Bush administration and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have been poor, and Mr. Chavez severed ties with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, claiming agents were spying on him.

But after meeting with U.S. activist Jesse Jackson this week, Mr. Chavez said he would like to improve relations with the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.