Translated by Javier Liendo

National Dialogue in Venezuela

National Dialogue has started today, presided by Mgr. Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina and special envoy of His Holiness, during a meeting between representatives of the Government and the Opposition, with the goal of establishing the conditions to convene a first plenary meeting in Margarita Island on Sunday, October 30th, 2016.

This meeting, held under the auspices of UNASUR’s General Secretariat, represented by its Director of Political Affairs, included the Holy See and former presidents Leonel Fernández, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Martín Torrijos, as Mediators.

In this context, the Mediators presented a proposal with the premises, issues, methodology and schedule for Dialogue, based on exploratory meetings.

All parties agreed to work together to determine the conditions to guarantee the safety and peaceful development of the public protests prepared for the next few days.

This meeting has been held in an atmosphere of respect, cordiality and political willingness, to advance this process with the essential goal of defending the Venezuelan people, their future and their capacity to overcome the fundamental economic, social, political and institutional issues that the Venezuela society is experiencing.

The goal of the National Dialogue is finding common ground, building trust, overcoming discord and promoting a mechanism to guarantee peaceful coexistence.

The Mediators emphatically call Government and Opposition representatives to respect and comply with all agreements, and we invite all those who participated in the exploratory phase, who have ratified their will to negotiate, to keep working with the same commitment.

Ernesto Samper, Secretary General of UNASUR, was grateful for the political will expressed by the Government, representatives of the Opposition, the Holy See and each of the former presidents, who made this important step possible.

Caracas, October 24th, 2016.

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