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Italy Not Recognizing Guaido as Venezuelan Interim President - Deputy FM

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ROME (Sputnik) – Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Manlio Di Stefano said Italy has not recognized Venezuelan opposition leader and the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the country’s interim president amid the escalating political crisis in the South American country.

"Italy does not recognize Guaido because we absolutely oppose the fact that a country or a group of third countries can determine internal policies of another country. This is called the principle of non-interference and has been recognized by the United Nations," Di Stefano, told the Tv2000 broadcaster on Thursday.

Di Stefano also emphasized the importance of avoiding the eruption of a military conflict, similar to the war in Libya, in Venezuela.

READ MORE: UN Chief Responds to Guaido’s Letter, Offers Assistance to Venezuela — Spokesman

Meanwhile, Italy’s another Deputy Foreign Minister Guglielmo Picchi, wrote on Twitter on Thursday that his party believed the presidency of Maduro was coming to its end, calling for a new election to be held in Venezuela with the participation of independent observers.

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Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said on Wednesday that his country shared the position of the European Union on the Venezuelan crisis, calling for free and transparent presidential elections to be held in the country.

Earlier EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini announced the establishment of an international contact group on Venezuela's crisis, saying that the group will be coordinated by the European Union and will be operating for a limited time frame of 90 days.

READ MORE: EU to Set Up Intl Contact Group on Venezuela Crisis — Mogherini

On January 23, Guaido proclaimed himself as the country’s interim president and was immediately supported by the United States and a number of other countries. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, said last Saturday they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president if the new elections are not called 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.

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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