Venezuelan opposition group ends occupation of embassy in Brazil
By Sergio Moraes and Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Backers of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido left the country's embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday, after a tense 11-hour standoff that created a diplomatic embarrassment for Brazil's right-wing government. Brazil's foreign ministry said a diplomat it sent to mediate a peaceful end to the dispute managed to convince the group of 10 people to leave the mission.
By Sergio Moraes and Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Backers of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido left the country's embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday, after a tense 11-hour standoff that created a diplomatic embarrassment for Brazil's right-wing government.
Brazil's foreign ministry said a diplomat it sent to mediate a peaceful end to the dispute managed to convince the group of 10 people to leave the mission.
Representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro later regained access to the building, creating a tricky situation for Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who has recognised Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
The incident caused scuffles outside the embassy in an embarrassment for Brazil's government as it hosts the BRICS summit of major emerging economies in the capital on Wednesday and Thursday. Leaders Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, who support Maduro, attended the event.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Twitter the "violent" occupation had ended peacefully, thanks to the intervention of the Brazilian authorities.
Members of the Guaido group said embassy staff had allowed them to enter the embassy in the morning and that they did so peacefully.
Guaido's envoy in Brazil, Maria Teresa Belandria, has not been able to access the embassy since she arrived 10 months ago and has been living and working out of a Brasilia hotel.
Crowds of Brazilians who gathered outside the embassy to support the rival claims of Maduro and Guaido traded insults and some came to blows before police could separate them.
"The Brazilian government ordered us to leave our country's embassy and we were escorted out by the back door like delinquents," Venezuelan Army Mayor Jose Gregorio, who deserted to Brazil this year, said by telephone after leaving the embassy.
Venezuelan embassies around the world have become flash points for the competing claims of Guaido, the head of country's National Assembly, and Maduro, a socialist who took over from late President Hugo Chavez in 2013.
Earlier this year, Guaido invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was fraudulent. He has since been recognised by most Western nations as the rightful leader of Venezuela.
An occupation by protesters at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington in May resulted in arrests before the building was returned to Guaido's representatives, who are recognised by the United States.
(Reporting by Sergio Moraes and Anthony Boadle; Additional reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Brad Haynes, Paul Simao and Richard Chang)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.