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Friday, July 20, 2018

Pope willing to meet sides in Venezuela crisis: Envoy

An economic crisis sparked by falling oil prices has sparked opposition demands for a vote to remove Maduro.

By: AFP | Caracas | Published: February 15, 2017 5:08:30 am

Pope Francis is willing to meet with Venezuela’s government and opposition to relaunch efforts to solve the country’s volatile political crisis, a Vatican envoy has said. The pontiff encouraged the sides to launch talks last year to ease tensions, but the dialogue broke down in December.

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An economic crisis sparked by falling oil prices has sparked opposition demands for a vote to remove Maduro. He has refused to allow such a vote, which the opposition says is one of its conditions for holding talks.

“The pope has expressed his availability, if (the sides) consider it useful” for him to meet with them, the Vatican’s envoy in Caracas Aldo Giordano yesterday told reporters.

Maduro and opposition leaders had said in recent days that they were considering going to meet with Francis — the first pope from Latin America — at the Vatican.

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