UN Sec-Gen ‘Very Much’ of “Venez” Talks in Norway

The Norway talks come as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted members of the International Contact Group (ICG) at Miraflores Palace.

Friday United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres showed support for a peaceful solution for Venezuela, expressing that he is “very much supportive” of the talks between the Latin American nation’s government and opposition representatives, which took place in Norway.

The government of Norway, through a release, confirmed Friday that preliminary contact had been made with political representatives from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The Scandinavian country explained that the meeting was “an exploratory phase” aimed at “contributing to finding a solution to the situation in the country.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who erred on the side of caution, added that he did not “want to predict what can happen in what we know is a complicated situation, but what is clear is that the secretary-general’s good offices, the United Nations’ good offices, remain very much available” if called upon to participate in or accommodate further talks.

According to Al Jazeera, Norway’s NRK radio and television network, quoting anonymous sources, reported that the talks between Venezuelan opposition and government officials had taken place at a secret location in the Norwegian capital for “several days.”

However, the government’s statement did not offer any information regarding the duration of the meeting but detailed that Oslo “commends the parties for their efforts. We reiterate our willingness to continue supporting the search for a peaceful solution for the country.”

The Norway talks come as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted members of the International Contact Group (ICG) at Miraflores Palace.

Venezuela’s Ministry for Communication and Information issued a release confirming the attendance of several GIC officials: Spain’s Juan Pablo de LaIglesia, Italy’s Ricardo Merlo, Portugal’s Jose Luis Carneiro, Sweden’s Annika Söder and Uruguay’s Ariel Bergamino.

The ICG consists of eight European countries, the European Union, and four Latin American countries.

Additionally, European External Action Service (EEAS) official Hugo Sobral and European Union ambassador Isabel Brilhante were also present.

China on Friday welcomed Norway’s mediation in facilitating dialogue between Venezuela’s government and the opposition. The nature of the Venezuela issue is whether to uphold the UN charter and the basic norm of international relations of not interfering with other countries’ internal affairs, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press briefing.

Talks in Norway this week with representatives of Venezuela’s government and the opposition sought to “build a peaceful agenda” for the crisis-stricken South American country, President Nicolas Maduro has said.

“We hope these talks would result in a political solution between the two sides, and Venezuela could immediately improve its economy and the livelihood of its people peacefully,” Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement on Saturday, Tasnim reported.