Pope Francis speaks with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during a private audience in the pontiff's library on June 17, 2013 at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro—AFP/Getty Images
July 22, 2016 4:43 AM EDT

President Nicolás Maduro’s government has accepted an opposition proposal that the Vatican mediate in talks over Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis.

The ruling socialists and the Democratic Unity opposition coalition have been locked in a bitter showdown over Venezuela’s triple-digit inflation and raging food shortage.

Along with the intergovernmental group UNASUR, three other former heads of state from Spain, Panama and the Dominican Republic have been trying for weeks to bring both parties to the negotiating table, reports Reuters.

“I think it’s good news this petition has been accepted by both sides,” said former Colombian President and head of UNASUR Ernesto Samper, “It will enrich us spiritually and, hopefully, politically.”

However, the Roman Catholic Church has yet to officially answer the call to broker negotiations reports Bloomberg.

The opposition has been campaigning for a referendum to oust Maduro, who has strenuously resisted attempts at his ouster.


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