Statement on the joint meeting of the International Contact Group and the Lima Group on the situation in Venezuela
The Foreign Ministers of Canada, Chile and Peru, members of the Lima Group, together with the High Representative of the EU and the Foreign Ministers of Portugal and Uruguay, members of International Contact Group, met today at the United Nations in New York to discuss the situation in Venezuela.
The meeting followed both groups' decision to increase contacts with a view to contribute to a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis. They agreed that while the solution needs to be a Venezuelan one, the regional impact of the crisis requires the region and the international community to play a more active role in supporting a prompt return to democracy in Venezuela.
Both confirmed their commitment to a peaceful transition leading to free and fair elections. In this respect they expressed their support to all efforts underway toward this goal. They reiterated their backing to the democratically elected National Assembly and affirmed the need to fully restore and respect its powers, as well as to release all political prisoners.
They agreed to continue a close interaction, including on outreach to other relevant international actors. Both groups will also continue to work together in denouncing human rights violations in the country in the context of the Human Rights Council and other multilateral bodies.
The Lima Group and the International Contact Group concurred on the gravity of the humanitarian situation, including the migration crisis, and committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan population and affected neighbouring countries in line with the internationally agreed principles. They expressed their support to the UN coordinated response and underlined the need to scale up the international support and make sure that humanitarian actors are able to deliver their assistance without restrictions or political interference.