Venezuela offers Turkey as ‘protecting power’ for its embassy in US

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President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro (L) after holding a joint press conference following the inter-delegation meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on October 06, 2017. Okan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Venezuela has proposed Turkey as a “protecting power” for its embassy in Washington, its ambassador to the UN said on Wednesday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.     

“The US is appointing the Swiss government as its protecting power in Caracas, and we respect that. But we also need them to accept our protecting power,” Samuel Moncada said during a press conference.     

“We proposed Turkey, for example. But they responded, ‘No. We don’t recognize you. We recognize [opposition leader Juan] Guaidó,” he added.

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, if diplomatic ties between two countries are broken off, both sides can choose a third country acceptable to the receiving state as a protecting power.     

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.     

Tensions escalated when Juan Guaidó, who heads Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a move that was supported by the US and many European and Latin American countries.     

Turkey, Russia, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro.

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