Portugal, Peru call for peaceful resolution to Venezuela issue

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-26 03:15:08|Editor: yan
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LISBON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Peru's president, Martin Vizcarra, began a two-day visit to Portugal on Monday by meeting his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

"We defend the need for a peaceful solution, a constitutional transition based on free elections," said Rebelo de Sousa. "We do not defend external interventions, specifically those of a military nature."

Vizcarra added that Portugal and Peru "coincide not only in matters of politics, but in measures we deem appropriate and opportune in terms of, for example, Venezuela, our brother country and neighbor in South America, which is managing a return to democracy".

Both men were speaking at a press conference after meeting at the Presidential Palace in Lisbon.

Rebelo de Sousa added that he believed Peru had made "an exceptional humanitarian effort" in regards to "giving shelter to 700,000 Venezuelans, among them many Portuguese nationals and descendants".

The two heads of state were meeting in Lisbon on the same day that the Lima Group, a multi-lateral body committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the Venezuelan crisis, was gathering in Bogota, Colombia.

The Lima Group comprises 13 Latin American countries and Canada and is a multilateral body established in Peru in August 2017 to focus on Venezuela's situation. Portugal is not a member of the group, but is attending the current meeting as an outside observer.

"Portugal has always supported the efforts of the Lima Group, in which Peru's role has been fundamental," Rebelo de Sousa added, in comments reported by the Lusa Portuguese News Agency.

On Tuesday, Vizcarra is scheduled to meet Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, and sign a number of cooperation accords.

Vizcarra will also visit the Champalimaud scientific research center and take part in a Portugal-Peru business forum event.