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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 15:44 GMT

UN Chief Willing to Broker End to Venezuela Crisis


7Dnews London

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 11:06 GMT

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres re-confirmed his proposal on Monday February 11th to step in to end the Venezuelan crisis, during talks with the country's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in New York.

The meeting between Guterres and Arreaza took place at the request of Caracas as the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido hardened. 

Previously, the United Nations called for serious political negotiations between the two sides to prevent a slide toward more violence in the South American country. 

"The secretary-general reaffirmed that his offer of good offices to both parties remains available for serious negotiation to help the country out of the present standoff for the benefit of the people of Venezuela," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. 

Guaido declared himself interim president last month, a move that has since been recognised by some 50 countries, including the US. On the other hand, Russia and China insist on backing Maduro as do some African countries, creating a global split that has left the UN in a quandary. 

As of last week, the UN chief said he would not join in any initiative promoted by groups of nations to ensure the credibility of his offer of "good offices" and stressed that both sides must request his mediation before he can step into the fray. 

In a response to the situation, UN diplomats said the Maduro government was ready to hold talks, but it remained unclear if Guaido would accept a UN intervention in the situation. 

Venezuela is in the midst of a disastrous economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, recession and dire shortages of food and medicines. 

Maduro is under pressure from the opposition, who blame him for the country's dire economic situation, accusing him of corruption and rigging elections to stay in power.  

Latin America