Venezuelan officials, opposition meet mediators over standoff

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CARACAS: Venezuelan officials and opposition foes have held separate secret meetings in the Dominican Republic with a group of ex-world leaders seeking a way out of political crisis, officials said Saturday, as an ex-military reserve leader was shot dead. Representatives of both sides of Venezuela’s political standoff met former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Dominican president Leonel Fernandez and Panama’s ex-president Martin Torrijos “in recent days” under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, to seek a “framework for a national dialogue,” the organization said in a statement. The mediating former leaders found “a desire for dialogue on both sides,” for which new meetings were proposed to “agree on an agenda that meets the requirements of each party and a method for engaging in national dialogue,” the statement said.

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