Turkey condemns EU parliament's Guaido move, says could lead to civil war in Venezuela

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 01.02.2019 12:29
Updated 01.02.2019 15:19
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AA Photo

Turkey condemns the European Parliament's decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday, warning that such foreign interventions could even spark a civil war in the South American country.

"We have been saying since the beginning. Such foreign interventions are not healthy and not right. They will not offer a solution. They will only deepen the problem. God forbid, the country [Venezuela] even can be dragged into a civil war," Çavuşoğlu told reporters in Romania.

The minister said other countries should engage in dialogue instead of taking sides.

His remarks came a day after the European Parliament recognized Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim president.

Following the U.S.-led campaign against Venezuela's democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro, the European Parliament Thursday called on the EU member states to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

EU lawmakers voted 429 in favor to 104 against, with 88 abstaining, at a special session in Brussels to recognize Venezuelan congress head Guaido, who illegally declared himself interim president last week. The European Union was nervous at the precedent of a self-declaration and has been reluctant to follow the United States and most Latin American nations with immediate recognition of Guaido.

President Tayyip Erdoğan has stood by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, calling him last week to express support.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition. Tension climbed when Guaido proclaimed himself the acting president on Jan. 23.

"Nobody should disrespect the will of Venezuelan people," Çavuşoğlu said, referring to the elections that brought Maduro into power.

He called for dialogue and cooperation to solve the problem in Venezuela.

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