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Venezuela recalls ambassador amid row with Colombia

Venezuela said Tuesday it was recalling its ambassador to Colombia for consultations following a diplomatic row between the two countries' leaders.

And firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lashed out again at his conservative Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe, calling him "a sad pawn of the (US) empire."

The Venezuelan foreign ministry said in a brief statement it was calling Ambassador Pavel Rondon back to Caracas "because of recent developments and in order to proceed with an exhaustive evaluation of bilateral relations."

The move came after Chavez and Uribe traded bitter verbal blows on Sunday.

Furious that Uribe dropped him as a mediator to secure the release of hostages held by the leftist rebels, Chavez said on Sunday he was putting bilateral relations Colombia in "a freezer."

"I don't trust anybody in Uribe's government," the leftist Venezuelan leader added.

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