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Italy urges Venezuela to hold 'democratic' elections

Italy urges Venezuela to hold 'democratic' elections
Fresh elections would help protest-wracked country find 'way out', says Italian foreign minister

By Senhan Bolelli

MADRID (AA) - The Italian government on Tuesday called for Venezuela to organize fresh democratic and free presidential elections.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi approved a resolution text on Venezuela following a meeting in prime minister's residence in Rome and presented it to the parliament.

Speaking at the parliament, Foreign Minister Milanesi underlined that Italy’s concern on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and its desire to produce alternative solutions.

He added that the government favored a peaceful solution and rejected all forms of violence in the country.

Rome did not believe that the last presidential election in Venezuela contributed to President Nicolas Maduro's democratic legitimacy, said Milanesi, urging democratic elections as soon as in Venezuela.

Italy's top diplomat asserted that the incidents in Venezuela were being closely monitored by the international community.

"According to the government, the situation in Venezuela is complicated and new acts of violence might occur," he said, adding that fresh elections would serve as a "way out."

On the other hand, the anti-establishment coalition partner Five Star Movement (M5S) underlined that it supported neither Maduro nor Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela.

On Monday, Guaido sent delegations to Italy and the Vatican, which did not recognize him as the interim president of Venezuela.

The delegation representing Guaido met the foreign minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, before moving on to Vatican City.

Italy's stance abstaining from openly supporting Guaido prevented the EU from issuing a joint statement recognizing Guaido's "interim presidency."

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a move which was supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.

Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro.

source: News Feed
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