CARACAS: Representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition have returned to Norway for talks aimed at resolving the political crisis in the South American country, the Norwegian government said Saturday, reports AP.
Norway said it will mediate discussions next week in Oslo, in an indication that the negotiation track is gaining momentum after months of escalating tension between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, the US-backed opposition leader.Top Maduro aide Jorge Rodríguez and Héctor Rodríguez, the governor of Miranda state, both of whom were in Oslo earlier this month for an earlier round of exploratory talks, will once again lead the government delegation. They will be joined this time by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, said Maduro, who thanked Norway for promoting “peace and stability” in Venezuela through the mediation effort.
Larry Devoe, the government’s top human rights official, is also a delegate member, said a Venezuelan official who was not authorized to discuss the talks and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The opposition delegation is being led by Stalin González, a senior member of the opposition-controlled congress, former Caracas area Mayor Gerardo Blyde and former Transport Minister Fernando Martínez Mottola, according to an opposition statement. They will be joined by Vicente Diaz, a supporter of past negotiations with the government who previously served on the nation’s electoral council.
Both delegations traveled Saturday for the meetings, according to officials.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide praised both sides for their involvement.
Representatives of Venezuela’s political factions traveled to the European country earlier this month for talks, but it had been unclear if they would continue to engage with one another amid increased tensions over the opposition’s call for a military uprising on April 30.