FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks in Caracas
FILE - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks in Caracas.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - The chief facilitator of negotiations between Venezuela's socialist administration and opposition has downplayed the decision by President Nicolas Maduro to skip a scheduled round of talks.

Dag Nylander of Norway's Foreign Affairs Ministry told The Associated Press on Thursday that he's in contact with both sides about finding a date for talks to resume.

Maduro on Wednesday night said he had decided not to send envoys to the Caribbean island of Barbados, where talks were to resume Thursday. That was to protest the Trump administration's decision to freeze the Venezuelan government's assets in the U.S.

Maduro's government also said it would review the mechanism of the talks to ensure it contributes to an efficient solution to the problems Venezuelans face.

“I take note that this week's scheduled meetings in Barbados will not take place,” said Nylander, the head of the peace and reconciliation office at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“Norway is facilitating the negotiation process at the request of the principal political actors in Venezuela and schedules all meetings based on the availability of the parties. Accordingly we are in touch with them regarding the next meetings.”

“The facilitation continues under the principle that the parties would like it to, and that there are realistic prospects of a negotiated solution that can benefit the Venezuelan people,” he added.
Norway has been sponsoring talks between the two sides since May.