By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) - The Venezuelan government and five opposition party leaders announced they agreed on starting a new dialogue process to tackle problems in the nation.
Main opposition leader Juan Guaido was not part of the new deal announced Monday and he said the Norway-mediated negotiations are ''finished.''
The development comes six weeks after President Nicolas Maduro's government walked away from negotiations, citing the U.S. administration's mounting sanctions on the OPEC nation.
''I welcome the signing of the agreements reached at the Dialogue Table with the opposition,'' Maduro wrote on Twitter in celebration of the new agreements.
''It is a step to move towards living together and peace. All the doors of dialogue will remain open for the tranquility of all Venezuelans,'' he added.
The Mesa Nacional, or National Table, process will reportedly focus on future elections, prisoner release and a united opposition to the U.S. blockade.
Opposition deputy Timoteo Zambrano of Cambiemos, and Claudio Fermin from Solutions for Venezuela party voiced support to the agreements, saying that both parties joined talks in a bid to ''remove the obstacles that damage democracy'' of Venezuela. They also said they reject hostile measures against Venezuela.
"We’re betting on peace for a concerted effort; Venezuelans are not going to allow the country to miss this opportunity for dialogue," Fermin told journalists after signing of the agreement before slamming Guaido for wasting an opportunity in Norway.
“The deputy Juan Guaido, as we have witnessed, has had an extraordinary opportunity with the dialogues in Norway … what does he propose? Violence? Crossing his arms? Surrender to the will of external forces?” she said, according to the TeleSur TV channel.
Felipe Mujica, MAS; Fermín, Luis Romero, Avanzada Progresist,; Pedro Veliz, Bandera Roja and Zambrano signed the agreement on behalf of their parties.
- Turkey voiced support
Turkey was one of the first countries to hail the agreement reached between the government and opposition parties in Venezuela.
A statement from the foreign ministry Tuesday focused on Turkey's ''principled position for the resolution of the current disagreements in Venezuela through the preferences of the Venezuelan People'' since the start of the current political crisis in the country in January.
''We welcome the agreement reached between the Venezuelan Government and several opposition parties yesterday (September 16th) in Caracas. We consider this development as a significant and encouraging step towards a solution,'' it read.