February 8, 2019 / 10:16 AM / 8 days ago

Romania backs Venezuela's Guaido as interim president

FILE PHOTO: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/File Photo

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania has officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president, joining a coordinated action of European Union nations and the United States, President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday.

About 20 EU nations including Britain, Germany, France and Spain have aligned with the United States in recognizing Guaido’s leadership and pressuring socialist President Nicolas Maduro to call a new election.

However Italy on Monday blocked a joint EU position to recognize Guaido as interim president, diplomatic sources said.

“The President’s decision was taken following careful analysis, including political, diplomatic and legal perspectives, taking into account the fact that the majority of EU states and a series of allies and euro-Atlantic partners have recognized the legitimacy of Interim President Juan Guaido,” Romania’s presidency said in a statement.

Romania currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Jan Harvey

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