Maduro optimistic about outcome of talks in Barbados

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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CARACAS, Venezuela (CMC) — Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he remains hopeful about the outcome of the talks now taking place in Barbados between government and opposition representatives to end the economic and political crisis in the South American country.

“I have received a report from the head of our delegation about the negotiations process that had kicked off in Barbados. This report makes me hopeful,” Maduro said.

“We have six main points on the agenda. I am confident that if we continue working in accordance with this agenda, and if there is no interference from the US, we will be able to reach some agreements for the sake of Venezuela.

“I am very optimistic…and I think that, step by step, with strategic patience, we can find a path to peace,” Maduro said in a broadcast on the state television channel VTV, indicating also that the meeting on Monday had lasted five hours.

Norway had confirmed the talks in a brief statement on Sunday but gave no specific date for the start of the third round of talks between the parties.

It a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the parties would meet to continue work on finding a negotiated and constitutional solution, “as quickly as possible”.

“Norway reiterates its recognition of the parties for their efforts and willingness to cooperate,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who has welcomed the talks, said she supports the efforts by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for dialogue to end the crisis.

“We are happy to be able to facilitate those discussions here that are being led and facilitated by the Government of Norway and involve both sides.

“Barbados has always had a reputation, whose foreign policy has been consistent, that we are friends of all sides, satellites of none, that we stay above the fray and we seek to bring about peace wherever we can.

'This is a matter that requires utmost patience so it is not something that you should be asking me or anybody about on a daily basis. Let the people talk and when you have deep divisions it takes time and I have every confidence in the government of Norway being able to do what Caricom has wanted done since January,” Mottley added.

Caricom leaders who have in the past adopted a position of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of the South American country, last week re-affirmed that position during their annual summit held in St Lucia.

The communique issued after the summit noted that the regional leaders had received an update on the situation in Venezuela and Caricom's mediation-related activities, carried out by their high-level representatives.

“They reiterated the importance of resolving the crisis peacefully through dialogue between the parties,” and “agreed that mediation-related activities would be continued to be pursued by the prime ministers (St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago)”, who were designated as the Caribbean's main negotiators.


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