Vatican Ready To Mediate Venezuela Crisis If Both Sides Ask

Vatican is ready to mediate the Venezuelan crisis if it receives requests from both sides, Pope Francis said during a news briefing aboard the papal plane flying from the United Arab Emirates to Rome.

“We’ll see what can be done,” he said, adding that he viewed the Holy See’s mediation as a last resort, when all other means of settling the crisis have proven to be futile.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro requested the pontiff’s assistance in resolving the civil standoff in his country. Self-proclaimed acting interim president Juan Guaido also expressed hope for the Holy See’s support in an interview to Italian media.

“The initial condition is that it needs to be both sides that ask for it,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church added.

Pope Francis also recalled the mediation efforts by one of his predecessors – Pope John Paul II – which helped to avert a full-fledged conflict between Argentina and Chile.

He added that mediation should be the last in a series of “small steps” toward reconciliation. “Small steps facilitate the dialogue – this is how diplomacy works,” he added.