US wants Security Council meeting on Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The United States has officially requested an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Saturday “to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.”

South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Jerry Matjila said earlier that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asked to discuss the political situation with the U.N.’s most powerful body. He said the “consultations” would be behind closed doors – not open.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations tweeted Thursday that it requested a meeting Saturday morning.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, leading President Nicolas Maduro to demand that all U.S. diplomats leave the country in 72 hours. Pompeo told the diplomats to stay because the U.S. doesn’t recognize Maduro.

Venezuela is not on the Security Council agenda and the U.S. needs the support of at least nine of the 15 council nations to hold a meeting. Diplomats said the council has not yet discussed the U.S. request.

Before Matjila spoke, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters he didn’t think a meeting is required.

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