German ambassador to Venezuela returns after spat | News | DW | 22.07.2019
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German ambassador to Venezuela returns after spat

President Maduro's government had removed Daniel Kriener from Caracas in March, accusing him of meddling in domestic affairs. Venezuela is in the center of a political and humanitarian crisis.

The German ambassador to Venezuela has returned to Caracas just over four months after the government forced him out of the South American country.

Daniel Kriener returned to the Venezuelan capital on Saturday following Venezuela's decision in early July to re-recognize his diplomatic status, according to the German Foreign Office.

The office's deputy spokesperson, Rainer Breul, said he was "glad that Ambassador Kriener is able to take up his duties as ambassador to Venezuela again."

Read more: What does it mean to be declared persona non grata?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he hoped to build "an agenda of mutual interest, in accordance with the principles of international cooperation" with Kriener after he returned.

Venezuelan interim president stands next to the German ambassador to the country

Daniel Kriener (right) left Venezuela after Germany recognized Juan Guaido (center) as interim Venezuelan president

Maduro's government declared Kriener a persona non grata on March 6, alleging that he had interfered in Venezuelan home affairs. The move came after Kriener greeted opposition leader Juan Guaido as he returned from a trip abroad.

Germany is one of more than 50 countries that have recognized Guaido as interim president over allegations that Maduro's 2018 re-election was fraudulent.

Unchanged German position

Breul made it clear that the German position on Venezuelan affairs "is unchanged," and confirmed that Maduro had requested Kriener's return.

A severe economic crisis has caused some 8 million Venezuelans to flee the country, many of them going into Colombia.

Human Rights Watch has called the situation in Venezuela a "humanitarian crisis," citing widespread shortages of medicine and food.

jns/amp (epd, dpa, AP)

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