US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has met with representatives of the Venezuelan government, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters on Tuesday.

“My understanding is there has been one meeting,” Palladino said when asked if he can confirm the meeting between Abrams and the representatives of President Nicolas Maduro’s government. “We are focused on the security of our personnel in Venezuela, and part of that naturally would be to talk about those with the guns frankly. So, we remain focused on ensuring the security of our personnel in Venezuela.”

 Political crisis in Venezuela aggravated in January after opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s interim president and was immediately backed by Washington as well as a number of other states. Russia and China, among a spate of other nations, supported Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president.

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