Venezuela's Maduro urges direct talks with Trump

Venezuela's Maduro urges direct talks with Trump
From Al Jazeera - August 11, 2017

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has offered his hand to Donald Trump while expressing interest in direct talks after a new wave of US sanctions imposed on the troubled Latin American nation.

In his first address to the new, all-powerful Constituent Assembly on Thursday, Maduro instructed Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreazato approach the United States and arrange a telephone conversation with Trump before next month's United Nations General Assembly.

Maduro said he had also given orders, "if it can happen", for a face-to-face meeting to be organised with Trumpwhen heads of state and government from around the world gatherin New York on September 20.

"If he's so interested in Venezuela, here I am," the socialist president said. "Mr Donald Trump, here is my hand."

READ MORE: Venezuela crisis: What's next?

The remarks come a day after the Trump administration slapped newsanctions on eight of Venezuela's politicians and security figures.

The sanctions will freeze US assets of the officials targeted, ban them from travel to the United States, and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

These follow last month's US sanctions on Venezuela over the election of a loyalist legislative superbody that has the power to rewrite the constitution, which Washington called "illegitimate" and in service of a "dictator".

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