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Venezuela’s Maduro says peace will come by year-end

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he is certain a peace agreement with the country’s opposition will be reached until the end of the year, despite remarks just earlier by opposition figure Juan Guaido ruling out negotiations with the government.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Maduro said, “I am sure that in 2019, we will reach a great agreement on mutual understanding and peace, dialog, and democracy for Venezuela.”

He also said his government was ready to continue talks with the opposition in Norway toward “creating a permanent mechanism for talks and [to] search for solutions.”

“That process is going well,” the Venezuelan president said. “There will be good news in the coming weeks about how well the contact, negotiation, and pre-agreement processes are going.” He did not elaborate.

Both Maduro and Guaido had sent representatives to a round of talks in Norway, which started mediating between the two sides, in May.

The two sides failed to bridge their differences then, however.

Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, Reuters said on Sunday that talks would resume this week.

Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido offers a press conference before participating in the Conindustria 2019 congress at the Metropolitan University in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 26, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Guaido, who unilaterally declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January, said earlier on Tuesday, however, that there had been “no official statement that we would attend a new round” of dialog.

“It is never going to be a good moment to mediate… with kidnappers, human rights violators, and a dictatorship,” he told reporters at the now-defunct National Assembly, which he heads.

Guaido has previously said any diplomatic process must lead to the end of Maduro’s elected government.

The opposition figure orchestrated a coup against the government on April 30 during which a small group of armed troops accompanying him clashed with soldiers in the capital, Caracas. That attempt quickly failed, though, and some 25 renegade soldiers sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas.

On Thursday, Maduro said security forces had foiled another coup attempt.

PressTV-Venezuela foils new coup attempt, plot to kill Maduro

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The president said the plan involved Guaido as well as political leaders from Chile, Colombia, and the United States, but Guaido dismissed the accusation.

The US had backed Guaido’s April coup attempt.

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