Caracas, May 18: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said on Friday discussions held this week in Norway with envoys of and opposition sought to “build a peaceful agenda” for economic and political crisis hit South American nation.
According to Reuters news reports, Norway’s foreign ministry early on Friday said the talks held were in an “exploratory phase”.
The envoys of both the sides reached the Nordic nation this week, signaling a fresh effort to put an end to months of rising tensions that was escalated after a failed uprising led by opposition head Juan Guaido last month, who called on the nation’s military to oust the embattled Venezuelan president.
In an official statement, the ministry said, “Norway announces that it has had preliminary contacts with representatives of the main political actors of Venezuela, as part of an exploratory phase.”
Lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez along with two advisors had led Guaido’s side in the Norwegian talks, while Miranda state governor Hector Rodriguez and information minister Jorge Rodriguez led Maduro’s side in Oslo.
Each side separately met with Norwegian mediators but however, there was no scheduled meeting between opposition and government representatives, Gonzalez has told the local media.
Speaking to members of the armed forces, Maduro said his representatives “went to Norway to lead Venezuela’s delegation at the start of an exploration into a conversation and dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition to build a peace agenda for the country.”
On Thursday, Guaido said any “mediation initiative” should start with the “end of the usurpation”, referring to Maduro resigning.
He said he would be meeting with envoys from Latin American nations and the European Union (EU) who arrived in Caracas this week to address International Contact Group on Venezuela.