EU to Set Up Intl Contact Group on Venezuela Crisis - Mogherini

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the photo bankFlags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Flags outside the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The EU countries have decided to set up an international contact group on Venezuela crisis, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said Thursday.

"We have decided the establishment of an international contact group that has been agreed among our member states and with some Latin American countries that will participate in that", Mogherini told reporters.

Mogherini added that the group will be coordinated by the European Union and will be operating for a limited time frame of 90 days. After this period, the results of the group’s work would be assessed and it would be terminated in the absence of sufficient progress, the official explained.

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"The group will help to build trust and create the conditions that are necessary for a credible process to emerge in line with relevant provisions of the constitution of Venezuela, enabling Venezuelans to determine their own future through the holding of new elections […] The objective is not to open a formal mediation process, not to open a formal dialogue but to support a political dynamic that the group can further accompany and consolidate", she stressed.

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The contact group’s work will be aimed at creating a common understanding of the situation Venezuela by key international players and will seek peaceful resolution of the current crisis in the South American country, the diplomat continued.

"The first meeting of the group shall take place at the ministerial level in Latin America. Hopefully, we will manage to convene it already next week and we’ll then have meetings both at the ministerial and technical level," Mogherini.

At the EU side, the group will include the bloc itself and some of its member states — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, according to the EU top diplomat.

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At the Latin American side, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Bolivia have confirmed they will participate in the group, while some other regional countries have not yet provided they confirmations on the issue.

The European Parliament passed Thursday a resolution recognizing Venezuelan self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate acting head and urging the EU member states to take the same step.

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On 23 January, Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, proclaimed himself as the country’s interim leader and was supported by Brazil, Canada, the United States and a number of other countries.

Some of the EU countries, including the UK, Germany, France, and Spain declared on Saturday their intention to recognise Juan Guaido as the Venezuela's interim president if Caracas does not announce snap presidential elections within eight days.       

Constitutionally elected Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro urged European countries to withdraw their demand, accussing Washington of orchestrating a coup in the country. 

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Russia, China, Mexico, Uruguay, Iran and Turkey among other countries, have voiced support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.    

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