Abinader and Pompeo underscore the need for a “peaceful transition” in Venezuela

The new president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, have ratified the “shared objective” by both countries to achieve a “peaceful transition towards democracy in Venezuela”, in the first meeting that have maintained after the inauguration of the Dominican president.

Pompeo, who attended the inauguration ceremony of Abinader on Sunday in Santo Domingo on behalf of the United States, maintained a round of contacts that included the new president and the outgoing, Danilo Medina.

In the case of Abinader, “they discussed efforts toward the shared goal of a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela,” according to the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, Cale Brown, in a statement.

The Dominican Republic has played an important role in the Venezuelan crisis by serving as the headquarters for the dialogue that the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition began towards the end of 2017 and that broke up in early 2018. Former Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was one of the mediators.

A year later, in 2019, there was the last attempt at dialogue in Venezuela, this time mediated by Norway, which has resumed its efforts in recent weeks, as recognized by the parties, although for now there are no signs that they will return to the negotiating table.

“I have had a moment to meet with former Dominican President (Danilo) Medina in Santo Domingo. Grateful for a very productive relationship with his Administration over the last eight years,” Pompeo said on Twitter.

Apart from the Venezuelan issue, he also spoke with Abinader about “the opportunities to strengthen ties and collaboration between the United States and the Dominican Republic in the areas of regional security and economic growth.”

“Secretary Pompeo assured President Abinader that the United States will continue our long-standing friendship and partnership to advance our shared vision of an even more secure, prosperous, and democratic Caribbean region,” Brown said.

“The United States and the Dominican Republic are strong partners and we look forward to working closely together toward greater regional security and economic prosperity for our nations,” Pompeo added on Twitter.

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