US to continue talks with Venezuela despite jailing of opposition leader

 The United States will continue diplomatic talks with Venezuela aimed at improving ties between the two countries despite its concerns about the recent sentencing of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to nearly 14 years in prison, a State Department spokesman said on Friday.

Reuters| Last Updated: Sep 12, 2015, 00:55 AM IST

Washington: The United States will continue diplomatic talks with Venezuela aimed at improving ties between the two countries despite its concerns about the recent sentencing of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to nearly 14 years in prison, a State Department spokesman said on Friday.

"We`re going to continue to work at this relationship, which is complicated and it`s not always going to be easy," spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing. "The most important thing you can do, particularly when you disagree with a nation that you are trying to improve relations with, is to talk about it openly and freely."

His comments came after Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was "deeply troubled" by Lopez`s conviction.