January 25, 2018 / 10:18 PM / a year ago

Venezuelan opposition, government to meet for another round of talks

"SOS" is seen written with the colours of Venezuelan flag during a rally against Venezuela's government as members of Lima Group nations meet in Santiago, Chile January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Members of Venezuela’s leftist government and opposition leaders will meet next week for another round of talks in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

The government and the opposition have tried for years to reach an agreement to ease the deep political and economic crisis in the oil-rich country.

The parties had been due to meet for another round of talks in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 19, but the opposition withdrew after allegations by the government, which it denied, that it had provided information leading to the death of a rogue former policeman and six other anti-government militants.

The talks scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29 will be directed by Dominican President Danilo Medina, and officials from Chile, Nicaragua and Bolivia will also participate.

But expectations for a deal remain low among Venezuelans. The decision by the pro-government legislative superbody on Tuesday to hold presidential elections by April 30 upset the talks, opposition leader Luis Florido told Reuters.

“It didn’t end, but it’s in intensive therapy,” Florido said of the negotiations.

Reporting by Jorge Pineda in Santo Domingo, Julia Love in Mexico City and Andreina Aponte in Caracas; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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