Venezuelan President Maduro Ready to Sign Agreement with Opposition

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President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro said that his government was ready to sign an agreement with the opposition within the framework of the talks resuming in the country.

“[On Sunday], the dialogue between the government and the Venezuelan opposition begins to find a way to peace and coexistence, so I, as head of state, say that the Venezuelan government is ready to sign an agreement with the opposition,” Maduro said in a statement, as quoted by El Universal newspaper on Sunday.

The president expressed the hope that the opposition delegation would arrive in the city of Santo Domingo and participate in the negotiations, Sputnik reported.

“Apart from the criticism that I have for the opposition, I have the obligation to reach agreements for the peace of the country,” Maduro said.

Earlier, the opposition expressed its readiness to participate in the negotiations, but has set a number of conditions, including the creation of a balanced National Election Council, participation of international observers in elections, ensuring the right to vote for Venezuelans living outside the country, reconsideration of banning of the opposition from the political competition and equal rights for campaigning.

Venezuela, mired in a deep economic crisis, has been facing mass protests since last spring. The rallies were sparked by the country’s top court’s decision to restrict the legislative powers of the parliament as well as the election to the National Constituent Assembly initiated by Maduro with the intention of rewriting the constitution. The National Constituent Assembly has not been recognized by the country’s opposition, the European Union or the United States.

The negotiations are currently in a deadlock, since the opposition also demands to release imprisoned opposition figures and to allow foreign humanitarian aid in the country, while the government seeks to gain the opposition’s support in helping lift the sanctions imposed by the United States in 2017 over the government’s plan to rewrite the constitution.

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