UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for national dialogue to end Venezuela crisis

United Nations: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for a national dialogue in Venezuela to end the crisis in the country just days before a symbolic, opposition-led vote on the government's plan to rewrite the constitution.

"Our concern regarding Venezuela is more present than ever," Guterres said in a statement.

"A national dialogue is urgently needed in Venezuela between the government and the opposition."

File image of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. AP

File image of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. AP

The dialogue would focus on ending violence and ensuring agreement on the way forward regarding the constitution, he added.

The appeal came ahead of a symbolic vote on Sunday, organised by the opposition-led National Assembly, on President Nicolas Maduro's bid to hold an election 30 July for a new assembly tasked with drafting a constitution.

At least 90 people have died in more than three months of protests against Maduro. His opponents accuse him of authoritarianism as the country faces crippling shortages of food, medicine and other essentials.

"The way out is through an agreement, elections and respect for fundamental rights and constitutional powers," said Guterres.

"The way out must be found by Venezuelans alone, and the international community must support peaceful outcomes based on political dialogue.

"Only a political solution can restore hope to Venezuela," he added.

The United Nations has kept its distance from the Venezuela crisis to allow regional players the space to try to mediate an end to the crisis.

The United States raised concerns about Venezuela at the Security Council in May, but there have been no subsequent requests for the top United Nations body to become involved.

United States Ambassador Nikki Haley said last month, however, that the "international community must act" after a US-backed proposal for mediation failed to win support at the Organisation of American States.

Updated Date: Jul 15, 2017 11:51 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See