Venezuela invites regional governments for high-level talks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-20 09:32:22|Editor: Mengjie
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CARACAS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela on Saturday invited governments from across the Americas that have taken a position on its political processes to gather for high-level talks.

"I call ... on the countries of our region ... if they truly believe that dialogue is the way forward in Venezuela, and they are not using it as a media tactic to create the conditions for a military intervention ... to attend this gathering of governments, of players who believe in political dialogue," Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said.

The invitation was made at a time when Venezuela's controversial National Constituent Assembly (ANC) came under a new round of international criticism for allegedly usurping legislative powers, even though the elected body has the power to rewrite laws and amend the constitution.

Governments critical of the measure "falsely indicate that the legislative branch was dissolved by the National Constituent Assembly (when) it is the National Assembly (Congress) that does not recognize the ANC as a plenipotentiary power," Arreaza told reporters after meeting with diplomatic envoys in Caracas.

The initiative proposed by President Nicolas Maduro to hold a high-level meeting between governments has the backing of some governments, said Arreaza.

European governments are invited to attend to hear "the truth about Venezuela," he said.

The Foreign Ministry "categorically rejected" a statement issued on Friday by the U.S. State Department, which calls the constituent assembly "illegitimate," and its assumption of related legislative powers a "power grab."

The statement "clearly constitutes a new act of interference in Venezuela's domestic affairs," the Foreign Ministry said.