Representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition have returned to Norway for talks aimed at resolving the political crisis in the South American country, the Norwegian government said Saturday.
Norway said it will mediate discussions next week in Oslo, in an indication that the negotiation track is gaining momentum after months of escalating tension between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido, the U.S.-backed opposition leader.
Top Maduro aide Jorge Rodriguez and Hector Rodriguez, the governor of Miranda state, both of whom were in Oslo earlier this month for an earlier round of exploratory talks, will once again lead the government delegation. They will be joined this time by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, said Maduro, who thanked Norway for promoting “peace and stability” in Venezuela through the mediation effort.
Larry Devoe, the government’s top human rights official, is also a delegate member, said a Venezuelan official who was not authorized to discuss the talks and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The opposition delegation is being led by Stalin Gonzalez, a senior member of the opposition-controlled congress, former Caracas area Mayor Gerardo Blyde and former Transport Minister Fernando Martinez Mottola, according to an opposition statement. They will be joined by Vicente Diaz, a supporter of past negotiations with the government who previously served on the nation’s electoral council.
Both delegations traveled Saturday for the meetings, according to officials.