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Irish government recognises Juan Guaidó as interim Venezuelan leader

Ireland has become the latest EU country to recognise Juan Guaidó as the interim President of Venezuela.

Juan Guaidó

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney made the announcement today, with the Irish government joining 15 other EU nations in their support for the opposition leader, including Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Austria.

Mr Guaidó proclaimed himself as the interim President last month, with President Nicolas Maduro rejecting demands to call an election.

Mr Coveney said that he "had repeatedly called for the urgent holding of free and fair Presidential elections in Venezuela in accordance with democratic standards and the Venezuelan constitutional order".

He said he supported further actions by the EU, in line with the union's common position, which included the issue of recognising Venezuela's leader should fresh elections not be announced.

“In the absence of such an announcement, I join other EU Member States in acknowledging and supporting Mr Juan Guaidó, President of the democratically elected National Assembly, as President ad interim of Venezuela, in order for him to call for free, fair and democratic presidential elections," he said.

I am keenly aware of the right of the Venezuelan people to freely choose their future, and am committed to finding democratic solutions that can bring political stability and address the pressing needs of the people.

“I will speak to Juan Guaidó in person to communicate our position," he said.

Mr Guaidó was meeting with EU representatives today to gather support for his role as interim leader.

He said he appreciated the recognition he has received from the international community.