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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro makes the announcement in the Council of Ministers | Photo: AVN

Published 12 September 2017

The Dominican Republic has offered to host talks between the two sides on Wednesday, a move welcomed by the U.N. Secretary General.

The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has accepted an invitation to a new round of talks with the opposition, to overcome the political conflict in the country. The invitation to restart a dialogue in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday was made by the former Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Zapatero, and the Dominican President, Danilo Medina.

Maduro said at a televised cabinet meeting that, "Zapatero and President Medina know very well that I have been calling for this dialogue and I accept this new round of talks."

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The Secretary General of the United Nations has welcomed the move.

The spokesperson for Antonio Guterres said in a statement that, "The Secretary-General encourages the Venezuelan political actors to seize this opportunity." The text from Stefane Dujarric went on to say that Guterres is convinced that, "the situation in Venezuela requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the Government and the opposition to ensure peaceful coexistence among all Venezuelans."

Earlier the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also welcomed the resumption of dialogue as “good news.” Le Drian was speaking after meeting the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in Paris. However, he also warned Venezuela of possible European Union sanctions.

“I reminded him (Arreaza) about the risk of European sanctions and the need for the Venezuelan government to give concrete concrete signals of its willingness to relaunch negotiations with the opposition, within the framework of a sincere and credible initiative,” the French Foreign Minister told the press. 

It is not clear if the Venezuelan opposition will accept the invitation to the talks in Santo Domingo on Wednesday. Several opposition leaders in Caracas said earlier in the day they had heard nothing about it. The general secretary of the Justice First party, Tomas Guanipa, told a news conference, "There's no type of conversation planned."

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