January 9, 2020 / 3:58 PM / 19 days ago

Venezuela needs 'negotiated transition to democracy' - U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives to brief members of the U.S. Senate on developments with Iran after attacks by Iran on U.S. forces in Iraq, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday called for an end to the political crisis currently gripping Venezuela, saying that leaders there should clear the way for free and fair elections at the end of 2020.

“A swift negotiated transition to democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to peace and prosperity in Venezuela,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Negotiations could open the path out of the crisis through a transitional government that will organise free and fair elections.”

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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