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Venezuela government-opposition talks fail in Norway

The end of the Norway-mediated talks in Oslo was announced without an agreement on Wednesday.

The talks failed after opposition delegates repeated calls for Venezuela’s democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro to step down and allow a transitional government to organize new presidential elections.

Still, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said the representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition had shown “willingness” to make headway.

“The parties have demonstrated their willingness to move forward in the search for an agreed-upon and constitutional solution for the country, which includes political, economic, and electoral matters,” the ministry said.

Norway also called on both sides to show discretion in public comments so as not to damage the process.

Nevertheless, opposition figure Juan Guaido threatened to call for street protests after the talks failed.

Venezuela’s anti-government protesters attend a rally in Caracas on May 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

In an earlier statement, Guaido’s office claimed that the opposition remained willing to continue with the mediation as long as conditions were right but said it would not drop its demand for new elections.

Norway’s Foreign Ministry announced in March that it was ready to act as a mediator or facilitator of talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition.

The negotiations came amid a political stalemate after months of street demonstrations and a botched coup.

Tensions worsened in January, when Guaido unilaterally declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela. With prodding by the US, he later spearheaded the failed coup.

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