UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Venezuela crisis

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By Reuters
Venezuela Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza at the UNSC
Venezuela Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza at the UNSC   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams urged the UN Security Council to vote this week on a resolution calling for Venezuela to allow the entry of humanitarian assistance into the country.

"We call on the members of the Security Council to join us in meeting the growing needs in Venezuela and the region. We call on member states to consider what resources and tools they have to contribute to Venezuelan democracy and to pressure the illegitimate Maduro regime to peacefully step down,"  Abrams said. 

Abrams, speaking on Tuesday ahead of a Security Council meeting on Venezuela sought by the United States, also told reporters that Washington would impose more sanctions on Caracas this week and next to bring additional pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro, whose legitimacy Washington has challenged.

His comments came days after troops loyal to Maduro violently drove back US-backed foreign aid convoys from the border on Saturday, killing two protesters and prompting opposition leader Juan Guaido to propose that Washington consider "all options" to oust him.

Abrams denied Russian accusations that the United States is preparing to intervene militarily in Venezuela, but reiterated that US President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table in dealing with Venezuela.

The United States has been pushing the 15-member Security Council to formally call for free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers, a move that prompted Russia to propose a rival draft resolution.