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The UNASUR Council of Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary meeting on March 14, in Quito, to address the situation in Venezuela. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mauro Vieira, headed the Brazilian Delegation to the meeting, which was attended by Foreign Ministers of all 12 member States of the Organization.

Early in the meeting, the Council of Foreign Ministers, comprised by the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Equador, presented a report of the recent visit to Caracas, held last March 6. The recent events in Venezuela were also addressed. The Secretary-General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, also presented his impressions on the visit.

Minister Mauro Vieira highlighted the importance of the guarantees received from the Venezuelan authorities that parliamentary elections will be convened soon, and that the monitoring mission of UNASUR will be present from its early stages.

The Council of Foreign Ministers of UNASUR reaffirmed its support for the holding of parliamentary elections scheduled for the second half of this year, and its readiness to send a mission to monitor the electoral process from its early stages. There is a commitment that the date of the elections will be decided upon soon by the National Electoral Council, responsible for organizing elections in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution.

At the end of the meeting, UNASUR member States issued a Communiqué in which, by request of the Venezuelan Government, they renew the mandate of the Council of Foreign Ministers to advise, monitor and support the political dialogue in Venezuela, with full respect for the Rule of Law, Human Rights, institutional order and democratic mechanisms provided by the Constitution.

The celebration of the upcoming parliamentary elections is essential for the maintenance of the democratic constitutional order, a fundamental principle of UNASUR.

The Foreign Ministers also discussed the repercussions of the US Government Venezuela-related Executive Order, issued on March 4, and approved a second Communiqué, in which they reinforce the defense of the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States, and reiterate the importance of evaluating alternatives for the dialogue between the Governments of the United States and Venezuela.

 

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