17:21 GMT06 July 2020
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    Maduro said earlier he was ready to talk to US President Donald Trump when necessary, but added that the conversation should be respectful, while Trump said he would meet with the Venezuelan leader only to talk about him leaving office.

    President Nicolas Maduro announced on Wednesday that in January of 2022, the Venezuelan people will be able to begin gathering signatures in favour of a referendum on his resignation.

    "On 10 January 2022, it will be possible to start to gather signatures in favour of a referendum on withdrawing the mandate of President Maduro. They [supporters of the idea] may go to streets and start to gather signatures of [the Venezuelan] people," Maduro said in a televised address posted on his Twitter page on late Wednesday.

    The political situation in Venezuela derailed in January 2019, when opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself interim president of the country, gathering a short-lived public protest. The United States and several Latin American countries have sided with Guaido, while Russia, China, and Turkey, among other nations, have supported the legitimacy of the incumbent president, Maduro.

    Maduro has accused Washington of trying to overthrow his government in order to gain control of Venezuelan oil assets.

    Tags:
    Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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