Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez says his country and U.S. diplomats have agreed to discuss improving relations after weeks of increasingly sharp accusations between the two countries.

Mr. Rodriguez issued the statement following a meeting Thursday with U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield. The meeting marks the first time Mr. Brownfield has held talks with a top official of the Caracas government since he arrived six months ago.

Mr. Rodriguez says they agreed to work on "sensitive" issues, and have also agreed to move forward in the areas of energy-related issues, drug trafficking, and terrorism.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently accused the U.S. government of plotting to assassinate him - an accusation the Bush administration has dismissed as "ridiculous." Mr. Chavez also has threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.