The Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela met face-to-face over the weekend and agreed to restore diplomatic relations, returning their Ambassadors to their posts.

A special technical committee has also been established by the United Nations to try to find a solution to the South American neighbours’ longstanding border dispute.

President Nicholas Granger of Guyana and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro met for the first time and talks were chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly on Sunday evening.

Observers say despite the show of good faith between the men, tensions remain.

Mr. Ban had to make a request for the two to shake hands as they appeared before the media, with both men smiling briefly as the cameras flashed.

The Venezuelan leader acknowledged that the discussions were tense and difficult.

Venezuela has been laying claim to the vast mineral-rich area of jungle west of the Essequibo (ESSE-QUEE-BO) River, which is about 40-percent of Guyana’s territory, since the 19th century.

Venezuela restated a centuries old claim for the area earlier this year, following an announcement by oil giants Exxon Mobil, that vast deposits of oil had been discovered there.