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17 heads of state or government to attend Maduro's swearing-in ceremony: Venezuelan FM

A total of 61 foreign delegations and 17 heads of state or government will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro on Friday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua announced here.

"We are pleased by the important support of the international community to democracy, peace and stability (in Venezuela) and ( its) recognition of Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela," the minister was quoted as saying by the state news agency AVN.

According to Jaua, the presidents of all Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) member countries except Chile are expected to take part in the ceremony, evidence of the regional bloc's recognition of Maduro's presidency.

After a three-hour special meeting earlier on Friday, UNASUR urged respect for the results of Sunday's Venezuelan presidential election, in which Maduro, the acting president succeeding Hugo Chavez, defeated opposition candidate Henrique Capriles by a narrow margin.

The Venezuelan opposition rejected the election results and demanded a vote recount, triggering violent protests that left eight people dead and dozens of others injured in the past few days.

[Source: Xinhua, Caracas, 19Apr13]

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