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Venezuela opposition says it will meet Maduro envoys in Norway-mediated talks

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Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognised as Venezuela's rightful leader by more than 50 governments, has said any talks must lead to a sustained solution to the crisis and cannot be used by the Socialist Party to buy time.

[CARACAS] Venezuela's opposition will meet with representatives of President Nicolas Maduro's government in Barbados for talks mediated by Norway, the parties involved said on Sunday, as part of efforts to resolve an ongoing political crisis.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognised as Venezuela's rightful leader by more than 50 governments, has said any talks must lead to a sustained solution to the crisis and cannot be used by the Socialist Party to buy time.

"The Venezuelan people, our allies and the world's democracies recognise the need for a truly free and transparent electoral process that will allow us to surpass the crisis and built a productive future," Mr Guaido's office said in a statement.

Norway's government in a statement said the talks would take place this week.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez on Twitter posted the statement by Norway's government. His office did not reply to a request for comment.

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Mr Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival presidency after dismissing Mr Maduro's 2018 re-election as a fraud. He does not control state institutions, largely because the country's military continues to back Mr Maduro.

As a stalemate was setting in by May, Mr Guaido's allies reluctantly agreed to hold talks in Oslo.

Many in the opposition mistrust dialogue proceedings given that previous efforts ended without agreement and Mr Maduro's critics broadly saw them as a stalling tactic.

Sources in June had told Reuters that opposition representatives were preparing another round of talks.

Mr Maduro on Friday defended the Norway-backed dialogue process, while Mr Guaido the same day said there would never be a good moment to mediate "with kidnappers, human rights violators, and a dictatorship."

REUTERS

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