UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed his full support for a new initiative to negotiate a political solution to the situation in Venezuela.
In a statement, the secretary-general voiced encouragement for mediation ahead of a round of talks sccheduled for Wednesday in the Dominican Republic between Venezuela's government and the opposition.
"The secretary-general reiterates his firm conviction that the situation in Venezuela requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the government and the opposition to ensure peaceful coexistence among all Venezuelans," said the statement.
The spokesperson added that Guterres "encourages the Venezuelan political actors to seize this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to address the country's challenges through mediation and peaceful means."
Leaders of the Venezuelan government and the opposition said Tuesday that they would send representatives in response to an invitation from the Dominican Republic to explore the possibility of resuming talks on resolving the political crisis.
Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas sent the invitation earlier in the day, encouraging Venezuelan government leaders and opposition members to participate in a new round of dialogue.
Venezuela has been witnessing a months-long political crisis as the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) was trying to stop President Nicolas Maduro's government from electing a National Constituent Assembly (ANC), which is tasked with debating amendments to the constitution.
The opposition fears that the amendments would serve to consolidate the ruling socialist party's hold on power.
Before the July 30, when 545 members of the ANC were elected, MUD-led anti-government demonstrations went violent, burning and vandalizing buildings.
More than 100 lives were claimed on both sides during the political turmoil, according to reports.