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Venezuela and the United States to Discuss Exchange of Ambassadors

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua announced Saturday that in the coming days, Venezuelan Chargé d’Affaires in Washington Calixto Ortega will meet with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson to discuss an exchange of ambassadors between the countries.

Minister Jaua said: “the designation of a Venezuelan ambassador in the United States will come about when the conditions are there. First, the chargé d’affaires, Calixto Ortega, will hold a meeting with Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson.”

He added that they will begin to set a work agenda to make it possible for President Nicolás Maduro to designate a new ambassador.

Jaua referred to his meeting last week with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the OAS General Assembly in Guatemala, with whom he had a conversation that he said was characterized by “respect, cordiality and frankness.”

“We are a people with dignity the size of the universe… we are men and women of work, sons of Bolívar and the Great Nation, which is respected in the world,” he said during an activity with community media in the state of Miranda.

He reiterated that Venezuela’s Bolivarian government has the intention of improving relations with the U.S., and that Ortega’s designation signaled the desire to reestablish bilateral relations with Washington based on respect.

For his part, Ortega said Saturday in an interview with Noticias24: “Being a democratic and peaceful country, we are interested in having normal, friendly and cordial relations with everyone.”

He recalled that diplomacy between Venezuela and the United States has had ups and downs, but that President Maduro decided to resume talks to reestablish normal relations.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington said that it is important to begin conversations based on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.

“We cannot accept, from any country, interference of any kind. Just as we do not get involved in anyone’s internal affairs, we ask for reciprocity,” he said.

Assistant Secretary Jacobson told Voice of America on Saturday that the United States has “new energy” on the issue of relations with Venezuela.

While there is no road map yet for the reestablishment of relations, she said her country hopes that an exchange of ambassadors will take place soon, and that there is new impetus to reestablish relationships between the countries.

Telesur / AVN / Press- Venezuelan Embassy to the US / June 10, 2013

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