April 11th, 2014 20:24 EST
UN Chief Ban Welcomes Start of Dialogue to Ease Venezuela Tensions
Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the start of dialogue to ease political tensions in Venezuela and called on all actors to work towards overcoming the current challenges facing the country.
Some 40 people have reportedly been killed in weeks of what began in February as protests over soaring crime rates and later turned into wider anti-Government rallies.
The Secretary-General welcomes that a dialogue has begun in Venezuela bringing together the Government and members of the political opposition, " his spokesperson said in a statement.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban saluted in particular the efforts of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), at the invitation of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, to support the process of bringing all sides to the table.
He congratulated both the Government and opposition for their public commitment to the dialogue, which is being accompanied by a representative of the Holy See and by the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, representing UNASUR, as witnesses.
The Secretary-General expresses his best wishes for the success of the dialogue and joins His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his call to all actors to engage in a dialogue aimed at finding common ground to overcome the current challenges faced by Venezuela, " said the statement.
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