Donald Trump to meet with Latin American leaders on Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (centre) addresses the National Constituent Assembly in Caracas, Sept 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump will hold talks on the Venezuelan crisis at a "working dinner" with Latin American leaders in New York next week, the White House announced on Friday (Sept 15).

During the meeting scheduled for Monday Trump expects to "discuss the crisis in Venezuela, as well as the strong economic ties and extraordinary success of like-minded Latin American nations in recent decades," National Security Adviser HR McMaster told journalists.

The White House did not elaborate on the meeting's agenda or who exactly will participate.

McMaster also ruled out the possibility that Trump could hold direct talks with Venezuelan representatives at the United Nations General Assembly.

President Nicolas Maduro will not attend the gathering of world leaders, instead sending his foreign minister to represent the embattled Latin American country.

Washington has already slapped sanctions on crisis-stricken Venezuela - including on Maduro himself - to "deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule."

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