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Macron, Trump discuss Venezuela, Syria, Iraq

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at the constituent assembly on Friday Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron and US leader Donald Trump discussed Venezuela, Iraq and Syria in a telephone call on Friday.


As violence continues in Venezuela, following this week's controversial election of a constituent assembly, Trump and Macron agreed that President Nicolas Maduro's government must "restore the rights of the Venezuelan people", a White House statement said.

On Friday, as the assembly met for the first time following an election boycotted by the opposition, a French presidential statement condemned the violence that has rocked the country for months and called for "mediation that would allow the revival of a credible, honest and serious dialogue between the government and the opposition".

Also on Friday hard-left MP Eric Coquerel insisted that "Venezuela is not a dictatorship" and accused the US of being behind the opposition protests.

Observers from his France Unbowed party had found a "massive" turnout in the assembly election, he said.

The US, the EU and major Latin American nations have dubbed the constituent assembly, which can bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly, illegitimate.

Syria, Iraq, Ukraine

In their phone call, which lasted a little less than an hour and was described as "cordial", Trump and Macron also discussed increasing cooperation in the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

They spoke about "countering Iranian malign influence," according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.

The two presidents also discussed matters of mutual interest on North Korea and "reaffirmed the importance of all sides implementing the Minsk agreements to reach a peaceful settlement in Ukraine", the statement said.