EU backs US plan for Venezuela transitional government
Brussels: The European Union on Saturday welcomed a US plan for a transitional government in Venezuela and subsequent lifting of economic sanctions.
Washington last month suggested that both hard left President Nicolas Maduro and his rival Juan Guaido -- previously backed by the US -- step aside in favour of a transitional administration made up of members of both their parties.
The shift in US tactics came as fears grow that the coronavirus pandemic will spread rapidly both inside and from Venezuela, an oil-wealthy nation now crumbling in an economic crisis.
"The European Union takes positive note of the Democratic Transition Framework on Venezuela proposed by the United States," the EU’s diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on behalf of all 27 members of the bloc.
"The US proposal goes in the EU line of proposing a peaceful way out of the crisis through a negotiated path to a democratic government, which is now more needed than ever."
If Washington’s plan is fully implemented, the United States and EU would lift sanctions, including sweeping US restrictions on Venezuela’s key export of oil.
The IMF and other international lenders would be invited to plan economic relief for Venezuela, from which millions have fled as they face dire shortages of food and other necessities. - AFP