Venezuela leaders, opposition explore possibility of talks

The Venezuelan government and opposition leaders said Tuesday they would send representatives in response to an invitation from the Dominican Republic to explore the possibility of resuming talks on resolving country's political upheaval.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas sent the invitation earlier in the day encouraging Venezuelan government leaders and opposition members to participate in a new round of dialogue. 

President Nicolas Maduro responded hours later on state television, telling Venezuelans he was accepting the invitation and sending a delegation almost immediately. 

The opposition's main coalition issued a tepid statement warning that no new dialogue had begun, but saying it was sending a delegation after an invitation from the Dominican president to discuss conditions needed for serious dialogue. 

"To enter a serious negotiation we demand immediate action that shows a true willingness to resolve national problems and not to buy time," the Democratic Unity Roundtable said in its statement. 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he fully supports the call for a new round of talks between the government and opposition. 

"The Secretary General encourages the Venezuelan political actors to seize this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to address the country's challenges through mediation and peaceful means," Guterres' office said in a statement.

 

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