Britain calls for reconciliation, dialogue in Venezuela
LONDON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Britain called for reconciliation and "genuine dialogue" between the Venezuelan government and protesters, as violent protests have rocked the South American country since early February, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said Wednesday.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday the death toll from the violent protests has reached 35, blaming small violent gangs and detaining three Air Force generals linked to a "coup plot" by hard-line right-wing opposition groups.
"I urge all sides to take steps to avoid confrontation, reduce tensions, and create the right conditions for genuine dialogue," British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said Wednesday, voicing "deep concerns" about the situation in the country.
"I am saddened by the deaths that have occurred, and condemn all acts of violence," he added.
A meeting of foreign ministers from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) is being convened in Venezuela to help mediate an end to the violent anti-government protests.
The Unasur delegation, representing Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, will meet with the political committee of the country's ongoing National Peace Conference and with Venezuelan church leaders.
"I hope that (Unasur) can play a positive role in helping to avoid violence and promote reconciliation in Venezuela," Swire said.