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Venezuela government, opposition to return to Norway for talks

Sunday - May 26, 2019 7:24 pm , Category : WORLD
Caracas, May 26 (IANS) The President of Venezuela said his delegation was preparing to travel to Norway for a fresh round of negotiations with the opposition.
"I thank the Norwegian government for its efforts to facilitate dialogue about peace and stability in Venezuela. Our delegation is heading to Oslo, ready to work on the comprehensive agenda prepared and move towards signing agreements," Nicolas Maduro tweeted on Saturday.
The tweet also included a video where he and First Lady Cilia Flores were seen holding a meeting with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and the delegation which will represent the government in the meetings in Norway, headed by Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez.
He will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza and Hector Rodriguez, the governor of Miranda state, Maduro said, reports Efe news.
The message by Maduro, who had attended a public event earlier in the day, came after opposition leader Juan Guaido - recognized as the interim president of the country by more than 50 countries - announced that he was accepting Norway's mediation offer.
In a statement, the Norwegian government announced that the two parties would return to Oslo next week to continue the process initiated by the country.
"We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting the search for an agreed-upon solution between the parties in Venezuela," it said.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said in the statement that "Norway commends the parties for their efforts and appreciates their disposition".
Venezuela has witnessed extreme political tensions since January when Maduro was sworn in for another six-year term after winning elections which were termed fraudulent by the opposition. In response, Guaido declared himself the interim President.
The political crisis has deepened since and a number of countries, including Norway, have been trying to encourage mechanisms to find a solution through negotiations.
Although until now the opposition has refused to accept more talks with the government, calling it an attempt to buy time, Guaido announced that he would accept Norway's mediation provided it resulted in an end to the "usurpation" of the presidency by Maduro, a transitional government as well as free and fair elections.

--IANS mr/