US backs Venezuela opposition to take UN disarmament role

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GENEVA (AP) — A top U.S. diplomat says her country wants an envoy of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to take up the rotating presidency of a key U.N. disarmament body in two months.

Assistant Secretary Yleem Poblete used the United States’ turn to hold the rotating presidency of the Conference on Disarmament to chronicle many U.S. concerns, including policies by Russia, Iran and China.

She said Tuesday the U.S. hopes a Guaido envoy “will be in a position” to take the conference presidency when Venezuela’s turn comes in May. The United States and dozens of other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president.

Venezuelan ambassador Jorge Valero, who represents President Nicolas Maduro’s government, called Poblete’s comments “absolutely absurd” and accused the Trump administration of seeking to install a “puppet president” in Venezuela.

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