Pope offers to mediate in Venezuelan crisis if both sides ask for his help

Pope offers to mediate in Venezuelan crisis if both sides ask for his help

The Pope has said that he is willing to mediate between Venezuela’s rival presidents Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido, but only if both sides request his help.

Pope Francis, whose own country Argentina officially recognises Mr Guaido, has been urged by both men to intervene. But while Mr Maduro seeks negotiations, Mr Guaido and his supporters see that as a ploy for buying time, and say that they will only sit to talk once Mr Maduro has stepped down.

Francis, speaking to reporters on Tuesday aboard his plane returning from a trip to Abu Dhabi, also confirmed that Mr Maduro had written a letter to him, but said that he had not yet read it.

“I will read the letter and see what can be done, but the initial condition is that both sides ask for it,” he said. “We are willing.”

Mexico and Uruguay have also offered to host talks between the rivals, but Mr Guaido has turned their offer down.

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