Bolivia urges contact group to convince Venezuelan opposition to hold dialogue with govt

Bolivia urges contact group to convince Venezuelan opposition to hold dialogue with govt

Agency News

Montevideo, Feb 8 : The international contact group for Venezuela should urge the opposition of the South American country to engage in dialogue with the government, Bolivian Foreign Minister Diego Pary told Sputnik.

The international contact group on Venezuela — which is comprised of eight EU and four Latin American states — held its first meeting earlier on Thursday in Montevideo. Bolivia participated in the discussion.

"We believe that in order for the process to be democratic and legitimate, it should include all the political and social actors — both the opposition and the government … I believe that the members of the contact group should convince the opposition to accept the position of democracy and dialogue," the foreign minister pointed out.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly expressed readiness to hold talks with the opposition. However, opposition leader Juan Guaido, has said he believed there was no ground for dialogue.

When asked if the fate of Maduro had been discussed during Thursday’s meeting of the international contact group on Venezuela, Pary said this was not a topic of the discussion during the meeting.

The international contact group on Venezuela is coordinated by the European Union and was set up earlier in February for a limited time frame of 90 days. The group's focus is to establish a common understanding of the situation in Venezuela and work with national and international actors to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

On January 23, Guaido, the head of the Venezuelan opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president and was immediately recognized by the United States, Canada and other US allies. Maduro, in turn, cut diplomatic ties with Washington and accused the United States of orchestrating a coup. Russia, Bolivia, Mexico, China, Turkey, Uruguay and several other countries have come forward to reaffirm their support for Maduro as the country’s only legitimate democratically-elected head of state.(SPUTNIK)