Wed, 01 Dec 2021

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The government of Venezuela is suspending talks with the opposition following the extradition of Venezuelan citizen Alex Saab to the United States, the governmental delegation's chief, National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez, said on Sunday.

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"In connection with those outrageous actions, the delegation announces it is suspending its participation in the dialogue," he told reporters at a news conference, broadcast live by the Telesur TV. "Therefore, we will not arrive to a new round of talks that was to begin in Mexico on October 17," he added, TASS reported.

According to Rodriguez, the extradition was "a yet another act of US aggression against Venezuela, considering that Alex Saab was listed as a full-fledged member of the negotiation process by our country."

Caracas announced its decision to include Saab into the delegation on September 14, after the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde approved his extradition to the United States.

Reuters reported that Saab was extradited to the US on Saturday. The government of Venezuela described the move as kidnapping and a severe violation of human rights.

The man was arrested at Amilcar Cabral International Airport of Cape Verde's Sal Island on June 12, 2020. The joint operation to detain him was organized by the authorities of Cape Verde and the Interpol, who were acting on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the United States.

The US accuses Saab of money laundering through US financial systems for the benefit of the Venezuelan government. The government of Venezuela has lodged a protest against the detention, saying that Saab had a diplomatic passport and the status of a special envoy.

On August 13, the government and the opposition of Venezuela commenced talks in Mexico with Norway's mediation. During the first round of talks, the sides signed a memorandum of understanding in order to confirm their readiness for dialogue.

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