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Santos sworn in as Colombian president

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Santos sworn in as Colombian president


Juan Manuel Santos has been sworn in as Colombia’s new president, promising to continue his predecessor Alvaro Uribe’s hard line against left-wing rebels.

The 58 year old former defence and finance minister will also have to tackle a prickly dispute with neighbouring Venezuela.

President Hugo Chavez sent his foreign minister to join more than a hundred international delegations at the inauguration in Bogota.

As Santos vowed to uphold Colombia’s constitution and laws, he knows he has strong support having won June’s election with 69% of the vote.

As defence minister he was credited with dealing FARC rebels a serious blow. The Colombian army have recaptured large parts of the country.

The crackdown has allowed investment to soar in mining and oil. Santos has vowed to continue the pro-business approach, though unemployment and deficits remain high.

But disputes with both Ecuador and Venezuela over their attitude to FARC guerillas have resulted in serious strains between both countries and Bogota.

One of the first tasks for President Santos will be to build on the warm words of welcome from his neighbours and improve relations in the long term.

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