21:42 GMT +315 December 2019
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019

    Maduro: Venezuela Wants to Discuss Opening Offices of Mutual Interest With US

    © REUTERS / Andres Martinez Casares
    Latin America
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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Venezuela is interested in resuming talks with the United States on the opening of offices that would promote the two countries' mutual interests, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.

    "If [the United States] wants a dialogue, I am ready for the dialogue… I once again reaffirm my interest and desire to continue a dialogue in New York at the level of our representatives to the United Nations," Maduro said, adding, however, that at the moment he had to suspend talks on the opening of diplomatic interest offices.

    READ MORE: US to Withdraw Remaining Diplomatic Staffers From Venezuela — Pompeo

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also announced on Tuesday that the government of Venezuela was launching a special program to provide the country's population with water. 

    "I have decided to initiate a special plan called the 'Blue Cistern' which goal is the provision of a permanent reserve of water to each family," Maduro said in a televised address.

    The plan must be put into action immediately, the president added.

    Venezuela's president's comment comes after on Tuesday, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said that Washington and Caracas suspended talks on the mutual establishment of diplomatic interest offices. In addition, the state authorities ordered that the US diplomatic staff to leave the Bolivarian republic in three days.

    Prior to that, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the move to recall the remaining US diplomats was an indicator of the "deteriorating situation" in the crisis-torn country. Moreover, he called the "presence of the US diplomatic staff" at the US Embassy in Venezuela "a constraint on US policy".

    In late February, the Venezuelan opposition tried to force US-sponsored aid into the country through the borders with Colombia and Brazil. The failed attempt sparked clashes between Venezuelan officers, who prevented trucks from crossing without permission. Maduro has said Caracas would not accept the US aid and has called Washington's attempts to deliver alleged supplies to Venezuela as a violation of the country's sovereignty.

    At the same time, Maduro has accused opposition leader Juan Guaido of conspiring with the United States to overthrow the country's legitimate government including by organising the delivery of so-called humanitarian aid as part of a plan to justify US military intervention.

    The confrontation between the United States and Venezuela escalated this year, when on 23 January, speaker of opposition-led National Assembly Juan Guaido declared himself to be acting Venezuelan president; the United States, as well as its allies around the world, immediately recognised him.

    Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey and several other countries continue to recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.


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    Venezuela crisis, Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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