Venezuela government, opposition show ‘willingness’ at Norway talks

May 29, 2019

OSLO (Reuters) – Mediation host Norway said on Wednesday that envoys for Venezuela’s government and opposition had shown “willingness” at a second round of talks aimed at resolving their long-running conflict, but there was no apparent breakthrough.

Few details have emerged about the contact between President Nicolas Maduro’s administration and representatives of opposition leader Juan Guaido who has assumed a rival interim presidency on the basis that the government is illegitimate.

“The parties have demonstrated their willingness to move forward in the search for an agreed-upon and constitutional solution for the country, which includes political, economic and electoral matters,” Norway’s Foreign Ministry said.

In its statement, Oslo called on both sides to show discretion in public comments so as not to damage the process.

Norway has a long tradition of conflict mediation, but has its work cut out solving the Venezuelan crisis, which has become a geopolitical football as dozens of Western and Latin American nations recognize Guaido, while Russia and China back Maduro.

Economic collapse has driven more than 3 million Venezuelans abroad in recent years, while political protests have often turned deadly.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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