The following statement was issued by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Mélanie Joly, and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly.
We welcome the decision announced today by Venezuelan negotiators to relaunch the dialogue process in Mexico City. We urge the parties to commit in good faith to a comprehensive agreement leading to free and fair elections in 2024, the restoration of democratic institutions and an end to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
We salute the social board humanitarian agreement and the willingness of all parties to pursue joint initiatives that will benefit the people of Venezuela and help meet their dire humanitarian needs. This agreement provides the blueprint for how further progress can be secured. We are grateful for the work done by the United Nations to that end.
We believe that participation in the negotiations must be inclusive, diverse and representative of the Venezuelan population in order to ensure that an agreement is durable and long-lasting.
We continue to call for the unconditional release of all those unjustly detained for political reasons, independence of the electoral process and judicial institutions, freedom of expression, including for members of the press, and respect for human rights.
We remain committed to supporting the return of democracy to Venezuela and the efforts of Venezuelans to realize their democratic aspirations. In this context, we stress the need for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission in Venezuela in 2021 aimed at improving future electoral processes in accordance with international commitments on democratic elections subscribed by Venezuela. .
We will continue to work with our international partners to meet the urgent needs of all Venezuelans inside and outside their country.
We are grateful to Norway for its unwavering dedication to facilitating this process, to Mexico for hosting the negotiations, and to Venezuelan democratic actors whose commitment to finding a negotiated solution to the crisis has been resolute.
We reiterate our willingness to review the sanctions policies if the regime makes significant progress in the talks announced to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and bring them closer to a restoration of democracy.