Caracas: Representatives of Maduro-led Venezuelan government and opposition will hold the second round of talks in Norway's capital Oslo next week in an attempt to resolve the ongoing political crisis in the Latin American country, Norwegian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
"We announce that the representatives of the main political actors in Venezuela have decided to return to Oslo next week to continue a process facilitated by Norway," the ministry said in a statement. "We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting the search for an agreed-upon solution between the parties in Venezuela."
Shortly after the announcement, Maduro took to his official Twitter handle to express his gratitude to the Norwegian government for providing a platform for dialogue between Venezuela's opposing forces, reported TASS news agency.
"I thank the Norwegian government for its efforts on facilitating dialogue about peace and stability in Venezuela. Our delegation is heading to Oslo, ready to work on a comprehensive agenda and move towards the signing of agreements," Maduro tweeted.
Noting the arrest of key opposition leaders in Venezuela, the US State Department hoped that the latest round of talks will focus on the departure of Maduro.
"The United States supports the desire of the Venezuelan people to recover their democracy and bring the illegitimate Maduro regime to an end. Previous efforts to negotiate an end to the regime and free elections have failed because the regime has used them to divide the opposition and gain time," the statement read.
"Free elections cannot be overseen by a tyrant. As we have repeatedly stated, we believe the only thing to negotiate with Nicolas Maduro is the conditions of his departure. We hope the talks in Oslo will focus on that objective, and if they do, we hope progress will be possible," it added.
It should be noted here that the US has opposed Maduro ever since he was sworn-in for the second term in January, after an election that has since been termed by most of the international communities as 'rigged.' Maduro, in turn, has accused the US of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as its puppet and take over Venezuela's natural resources.
Hours after Saturday's announcement by the Norwegian government, Guaido took to his official Twitter handle and reiterated that the opposition will be satisfied with nothing short of the removal of Maduro from the office, reports Sputnik.
"We pursue all options with responsibility," he tweeted. "Our route is very clear: an end of usurpation, [creation of] interim government and free elections, and will pursue it in all areas of struggle, committed to URGENT changes that our country needs,"
Representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition had held a similar round of talks in Norway on May 16. Maduro had hailed the talks as 'positive.'