Venezuela calls off Maduro meeting with Lula, Brazil govt says

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gives a state of the nation address at the National Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Venezuela has decided to call off a previously arranged meeting between President Nicolas Maduro and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday, Lula's press office said.

The Brazilian government had announced earlier in the day the two leaders were set to meet in Buenos Aires this afternoon as they attend a summit of Latin American and Caribbean countries in Buenos Aires.

Later, however, Lula's team released a new update of his agenda saying the meeting would no longer take place as Venezuela canceled it.

Lula, who took office on Jan. 1, asked his foreign relations minister to restore relations with Venezuela. Diplomatic relations between the countries were broken in 2020 by Brazil's former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Steven Grattan

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