European parliament urges EU recognise Venezuela's Guaido

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EU lawmakers on Thursday voted in a non-binding resolution to recognise Juan Guaido as interim leader and called on all EU governments to follow suit.

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to recognise Venezuela's acting president Juan Guaido and urged the European Union and its member states to follow suit.

The vote joins the growing international pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and his remaining backers to step aside and allow free elections.

It does not change EU policy, but adds to calls for the EU executive and its member states to join the United States, Canada and Brazil in backing Guaido.

Four major European member states have told Maduro to call those elections by the weekend or they will recognise the opposition-backed parliamentary speaker.

The motion urges Brussels accept Guaido as "legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy."

The text was proposed jointly by the major political groups in the parliament, and backed by a 439 deputies against 104 "no" votes and 88 abstentions.

The vote also came as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini demanded that Venezuelan authorities loyal to Maduro release detained foreign journalists.

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