CARACAS, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday called on the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) not to walk away from talks, which recently began in Caracas to find a way out of the political crisis.
In a speech from the presidential palace, Maduro said sectors of the opposition were "seeking excuses and reasons not to continue the dialogue. No, they must stay here...respecting the Constitution."
The head of state was responding to a warning by certain MUD leaders that the government had to comply with the group's demands by Nov. 11, the date set for the next dialogue session.
While Maduro freed a number of prisoners as a gesture of good faith this week, the MUD has said more needs to be done, including freeing more prisoners and the re-start of a recall referendum process against Maduro, or the calling of a new presidential election.
"Nobody can say...that if in 10 days, the government does not respond, they will leave and go to war. That is not acceptable to anybody. We did not discuss this at the table. We must meet the expectations of the country," Maduro said.
However, the president said the first round of discussion last week went well. "We are just starting and all of Venezuela must accompany the process...for this to become a permanent dialogue."
Envoys from Maduro's government and the MUD met on Oct. 30. The two sides agreed on four central topics to be discussed: how to bring about peace and justice, reparation to victims and reconciliation, social and economic stability, and coordination on the electoral calendar. The two sides also agreed to meet on Nov. 11.
The four topics will each have a separate discussion, with a representative from the government and from the opposition.
In a joint statement after the meeting, the parties voiced commitment to "diminishing the tone of aggression in the language used in political debate."
Despite this meeting, the MUD opposition coalition has been divided on whether to sit down with the government.