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Venezuelan government, opposition to resume political talks

Talks in Mexico on Saturday over humanitarian aid, US approval for Chevron to operate in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s government and opposition will resume political talks on Saturday, Norway’s foreign ministry has confirmed, as negotiations aimed at finding a way out of the country’s complex crisis have stalled for more than a year.

Norway, which moderates the talks in Mexico, said on Thursday the parties would sign a “partial agreement on social affairs”.

“We announce that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Single Platform of Venezuela have decided to resume the dialogue and negotiation process in Mexico on November 26, supported by Norway,” the Embassy of Norway in Mexico said tweeted.

Earlier talks were suspended in October 2021 by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, angered by the United States’ extradition of a businessman with ties to his government.

The negotiations are said to focus on a humanitarian aid program for the stricken nation and conditions for a presidential election planned for 2024.

Maduro and opposition officials, including the US-backed faction led by Juan Guaido, are also likely to discuss a US extension for oil giant Chevron to operate in Venezuela amid soaring global energy costs.

Chevron is expected to receive approval from Washington on Saturday to expand its operations in the South American country.

The permit would allow it to produce and export crude oil, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Commenting on the news of the new talks during his regular news conference on Thursday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he was grateful that both sides have faith in Mexico to hold them.

“The idea is that we don’t act in a leading role. What we want is that there is understanding so that we can move forward and achieve peace and tranquility and that there are agreements between the parties,” he said.

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