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Italy to take part in Venezuela Contact Group meeting

06 maggio 2019 | 17.33
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Photo: AFP

Italy's foreign undersecretary Ricardo Merlo is taking part on Monday and Tuesday in a meeting of the European Union led International Contact Group on crisis-hit Venezuela, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The meeting is being held in San Jose, Costa Rica, according to the statement. It is the third since the contact group was set up in January as part of diplomatic efforts to end the crisis in Venezuela.

“Italy and the European Union's position has been very clear from the start," the statement quoted Merlo as saying.

“We are working to resolve the Venezuelan crisis peacefully and to allow the country to hold free, democratic elections as soon as possible."

The meeting comes after a failed, US-backed bid by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to spur a military uprising against leftist president Nicolas Maduro last week.

Maduro has repeatedly denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis in the South American country, where a quarter of the country’s population is in dire need of food and basic supplies.

Malnutrition and disease have spread in Venezuela, which has endured the deepest economic depression in modern history among countries not at war and where some 5,500 people are fleeing the country each day.

Besides Italy, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain have signed up to the Venezuela contact group, as well as four Latin American countries - Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Bolivia.

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