Washington, Aug 21 : US President Donald Trump and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro have confirmed that 'secret talks between senior officials from their government were taking place, to resolve the long-standing conflict between the two countries.
"We are in touch. We're talking to various representatives of Venezuela," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. However, Trump refused to divulge, which officials were engaged in the talks. He said "We are talking at a very high level. Representatives at different levels of Venezuela" were involved.
Mr Maduro confirmed the talks in a national broadcast, later on Tuesday, saying "for months, there has been contact between senior officials of the United States, of Donald Trump, and the Bolivarian government that I preside over." He described the talks as "secret meetings in secret places with secret people that nobody knows".
"Just as I have sought dialogue in Venezuela, I have sought a way in which President Donald Trump really listens to Venezuela," Mr Maduro said, also without confirming which officials were involved in the talks. He followed up his address with a post on Twitter, saying that Venezuela was seeking to normalise the conflict that exists with the US empire. "I believe in Dialogue, I believe in Peace!" it said.
Mr Maduro's comments came a day after Vice President Diosdado Cabello denied allegations that he was in secret talks with members of the US administration. Tensions between the US and Venezuela have been escalating since January 23, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself as the interim president of the country, by charging Maduro's election as fraud. The US backs Guaido to be the legitimate president of the country. UNI