Venezuela, Spain Agree to Normalize Diplomatic Ties

Venezuela and Spain have agreed to begin the process of normalizing their diplomatic relations, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry says, reinstating their ambassadors “in order to restore channels of diplomatic dialogue, within the framework of mutual respect and international law.”

“The Kingdom of Spain through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, have agreed to begin a process of normalization of diplomatic relations for the benefit of its citizens, who are united by close links that must be preserved,” a statement by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

“To this end, they have agreed today on the return of their ambassadors in the coming days, in order to restore channels of diplomatic dialogue between the two governments, within the framework of mutual respect and international law.”

Last week, Spanish and Venezuelan officials met in Madrid and expressed their willingness to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said the meeting, organized at his request, would only yield positive results if the parties move forward on the basis of mutual respect.

The Venezuelan government has in the past rejected the harsh stance taken by the Spanish government on Maduro’s administration, which has led to a diplomatic crisis further aggravated by the recent EU sanctions imposed on the Bolivarian government.

Venezuela expelled the Spanish ambassador in January 2018 after the EU imposed sanctions on high-ranking officials, which was followed by the expulsion of Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain by Mariano Rajoy’s government.