President Donald Trump said Tuesday his government is talking to "various representatives" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who also confirmed that "secret" discussions had been taking place. In a nationally broadcast appearance hours after Trump spoke, Maduro said that talks had long been underway between high officials in his government and the U.S. administration.
"We've had secret meetings in secret places with secret people that nobody knows," Maduro said, adding that all talks had been carried out under his "direct" authorization. "Sure there's been contact and we'll continue having contact."
The Associated Press reported over the weekend that the U.S. has made secret contact with socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello as close allies of Maduro's inner circle seek guarantees they won't face prosecution for alleged abuses and crimes if they cede to growing demands to remove him.
Maduro did not name any officials in his government participating in U.S. meetings. The socialist leader said that he's ready to meet with Trump himself to normalize relations, an offer he's made before. Venezuela was one of many topics addressed by Trump when he took questions from reporters earlier Tuesday during his meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Trump, however, refused to say whether such dialogue is being conducted with Cabello, considered the nation's second most powerful politician after Maduro.
"We're talking to various representatives of Venezuela," Trump responded when a reporter asked him whether the White House is talking to Cabello. "I don't want to say who, but we are talking at a very high level."
The U.S. considers opposition leader Juan Guaido to be the legitimate president of the country.
Köhnə versiyamızdan xəbərləri izlə