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Venezuela, Madagascar establish diplomatic ties
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Venezuela and Madagascar established diplomatic ties on Monday, Venezuelan Foreign Ministry officials said.

The ceremony was presided over by Reinaldo Bolivar, Venezuela's vice foreign minister for Africa, and Zina Adrianarivelo-Razifi, Madagascar's ambassador to Venezuela.

The two officials signed a joint communique in the capital city of Caracas.

Bolivar said that until 1998, the Venezuelan government did not make any effort to approach any African countries, which are rich in agriculture and possess mining potential.

He said that since May 2005, however, Venezuela has been taking political and diplomatic measures to contact countries on the African continent and has added 11 embassies to the seven that had already existed in Africa.

Razafi said that both nations suffered colonization and possess similarities in geography and history, as well as mineral and agriculture resources.

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)

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