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    The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini attends a press conference, as the shadow of Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski is seen in the background, after a meeting with foreign ministers of Central and South-Eastern European countries, in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.

    EU Calls on Venezuelan Authorities to Suspend Convening Constituent Assembly

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    The European Union calls upon Venezuelan authorities to suspend preparations for the gathering of the Constituent Assembly in order to avoid further divisions within society, and hopes for the resumption of negotiations between the authorities and opposition to resolve the political crisis, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — An unofficial referendum organized by the opposition on Sunday rejected the plan of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to convene the Constituent Assembly, which will be charged with rewriting the nation's constitution. An absolute majority of 98 percent of the voters refused to accept Maduro's plan.

    "It is absolutely clear that the referendum organized yesterday by the opposition shows the desire of Venezuelan people to find a peaceful way to resolve many difficulties immediately, and that most of the population doesn't appear, that's obvious, to support the Constituent Assembly. The convening of the Assembly might further divide the country and deepen the confrontation," Mogherini said.

    The National Electoral Council of Venezuela has previously stated that the plebiscite organized by the opposition would not have legal effect, as only the legislature has the right to organize a referendum. The election for the 545 members of the Constituent Assembly is scheduled for July 30. The opposition believes that Maduro's plan for constitutional reform is aimed at sidelining the parliament.

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    Constituent Assembly, EU, Federica Mogherini, Venezuela
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