WASHINGTON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration on Friday continued voicing its long-term concerns over Venezuela's link with Colombia's anti-government guerrillas, calling for an international investigation into the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
"It's an unfortunate response. It was a petulant response by Venezuela to cut off relations with Colombia," said U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, referring to the crisis triggered by Colombia's accusation against Venezuela of harboring anti-government guerrillas.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday ordered to sever diplomatic relationship with neighboring Colombia after Bogota presented the Organization of American States (OAS) the evidence showing some 1,500 guerrilla members are now hiding in Venezuela.
Both Venezuela and Colombia have already recalled their ambassadors.
"We think that there should be an investigation. We think that Venezuela itself has responsibilities to be forthcoming in responding to the important information presented by Colombia," said Crowley, suggesting the investigation to be taken under the framework of the OAS and the Union of South American Nations.
"We would hope for a more constructive response by Venezuela, if Venezuela fails to cooperate in whatever follow-on steps are made, the United States and other countries will obviously take account of that," the spokesman said.
The United States has expressed its deep concerns over the link between Caracas and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the main anti-government guerrilla force in Colombia, which was labeled by U.S. State Department as a terror organization.
"Venezuela, among other states in the region, has very clear responsibilities to combat terrorism in the region and to support efforts within the OAS and within the United Nations to fight terrorism wherever it is," said Crowley.