Colombian officials say President Alvaro Uribe has been hospitalized with a viral infection that forced him to cancel a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The Colombian government said Thursday the infection triggered gastrointestinal symptoms and that the president was hospitalized on the advice of his doctors. Officials initially said President Uribe was suffering from food poisoning.

The president is hospitalized in Cartagena, where he attended a donors' conference earlier in the day.

President Uribe was to have met Mr. Chavez in Caracas Thursday to end a diplomatic dispute sparked by the capture of a Colombian Marxist rebel leader in Venezuela in December.

Colombia admitted paying bounty hunters to abduct FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Granda in Caracas and take him back to Colombia.

Venezuela said the seizure was a kidnapping that violated its sovereignty.