International groups meet at UN, focus on finding solution to Venezuelan crisis

Two international groups trying to foster a solution to the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela want to get participation in the effort from countries that are supporting embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

The Lima Group and the International Contact Group met Monday at U.N. headquarters. The Lima Group and some International Contact Group members consider opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido to be Venezuela’s rightful leader, arguing that Maduro’s re-election a year ago was illegitimate because strong opponents were barred from running.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio said members decided to ask nations backing Maduro’s government to “be part of the solution … to get a transition” and new elections in Venezuela.

A U.N. envoy for Russia, which supports Maduro, said earlier Monday that any initiative that respects Venezuela’s constitution and “legitimate government” can contribute. But Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said Moscow isn’t “seeking to get involved in each and every effort.”

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