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Venezuela gov't hails dialogue with opposition

Xinhua, November 1, 2016 Adjust font size:

Leaders of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on Monday hailed the start of talks with the opposition, with the aim of seeking a common solution to the country's political crisis.

PSUV spokesman, Hector Rodriguez, told a press conference that "we want to applaud the brave attitude of the different political actors who sat at that table."

"We want to acknowledge the international support which has been given to the proposal of President (Nicolas) Maduro," added Rodriguez, who called for all sides to move beyond political differences and reject hatred.

"We do not want to return to the (violence) of 2014, we want to see a respectful debate of ideas," he said.

Envoys from Maduro's government and the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) met late on Sunday.

The two sides agreed to four central topics to be discussed: how to bring about peace and justice, reparation to victims and reconciliation, society and economic stability, and coordination on the electoral calendar. The two sides also agreed to meet on Nov. 11.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the parties voiced commitment to "diminishing the tone of aggression in the language used in political debate."

The talks were monitored by three representatives for the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), former Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former President of Panama, Martin Torrijos, and former Dominican Republic President, Leonel Fernandez.

The four topics will each have a separate discussion, with a representative from the government and from the opposition, said Celli after the meeting.

The MUD opposition has been divided on whether to sit down with the government.

On Saturday, 15 parties within the MUD issued a statement that the conditions were not met to speak with the government, which they said was allegedly continuing "persecution, violence, and terrorizing" of the opposition. Endit