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Diplomats walk out of UN conference in Venezuela protest

AFP  |  Vienna 

Diplomats Thursday walked out of a UN convention on drugs addressed by Venezuelan Jorge Arreaza, saying his government was illegitimate and did not represent the country.

Dozens of officials from Latin America, as well as the US, and some European countries, including France, left the room in protest as Arreaza took the podium for the meeting of the (CND) in

"The members of the delegation here today represent the illegitimate government of (Venezuela's President) Nicolas Maduro, and thus cannot be considered as speaking on behalf of the Venezuelan people," a of the to International Organizations said in a statement after the walk-out.

Multiple diplomats, including from and Europe, had staged a walk-out late last month during an Arreaza address to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, when he called for direct talks between Maduro and US about the country's crisis.

Arreaza said in his speech in Thursday that the drug epidemic could only be combatted multilaterally, adding that US "unilateral economic steps" have cost the country billions, diverting funds from the fight against drugs.

"Today the multilateral model (of world affairs) is under threat and the situation of is an example of this... The government of the US has threatened our people with a military aggression, with a use of force violating the UN charter," he said.

The CND started meeting Thursday to discuss the world drug problem. In Venezuela, widespread anger against has deepened due to an unprecedented nationwide power blackout.

Venezuela's -- who is recognised as by more than 50 countries -- vowed this week to oust Maduro "very soon".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 19:15 IST