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Montevideo, November 27th 2022 - 04:58 UTC

 

 

Venezuelan crisis discussed in Paris

Saturday, November 12th 2022 - 10:49 UTC
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Macron, Fernández, and Petro iissued a joint statement urging both sides in Venezuela's crisis to resume talks Macron, Fernández, and Petro iissued a joint statement urging both sides in Venezuela's crisis to resume talks

The Presidents of France, Colombia, and Argentina Friday discussed in Paris possible ways out of Venezuela's crisis which has sparked a large-scale migration of citizens of that oil-rich South American country.

After their meeting, the three leaders issued a joint statement endorsing the resumption of talks between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition, which started in the French capital earlier in the day and is to resume in Mexico shortly.

Presidents Emmanuel Macron, Gustavo Petro, and Alberto Fernández insisted that dialogue was the “only way.” “They expressed their full support for the resumption of the inter-Venezuelan negotiation process,” they said in a joint communiqué, and “encouraged the negotiators to continue their efforts in the humanitarian and political fields.”

The three presidents also “expressed their willingness to support as much as necessary this process,” which has in Norway -also present during Friday's meeting- a facilitator country of political dialogue which has been stalled for a year.

“This initiative aims to encourage Venezuelan political actors to agree on a way out of the crisis, with a view to free, democratic, and internationally observed presidential elections in 2024 in Venezuela,” the statement also pointed out.

The meeting was also attended by Caracas' National Assembly Speaker Jorge Rodríguez on behalf of the Venezuelan administration and Gerardo Blyde, of the opposition delegation. Rodriguez and Blyde had met previously at the Spanish Embassy in France -first separately and then jointly- with the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

During the fifth edition of the Paris Peace Forum Friday, Macron said he would set the stage to relaunch dialogue between President Nicolas Maduro and his opponents. The South American nation remains a key OPEC oil producer amid a global energy crisis.

“Negotiations between the regime and the opposition must resume as soon as possible in Mexico City, first with a humanitarian agreement and then, I hope, with political guarantees,” Macron had said. France, like the United States and many other countries, did not recognize Maduro's reelection as president in 2018, during a ballot they accused of being rigged, and openly supported opposition leader Juan Guaido when he declared himself interim president in early 2019. But the multiple American-European sanctions, including an oil embargo from Washington, to push the socialist leader to leave have not worked and Juan Guaido's political weight has since waned. Macron had a brief exchange with Maduro on Monday on the sidelines of the Cop27 on the climate in Egypt.

The Paris Peace Forum brings together country leaders, representatives of civil society, NGOs, large companies, cities, and institutions.

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