June 6, 2017 / 12:29 AM / a year ago

Pope to host Venezuelan bishops on June 8

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Venezuelan bishops will visit Pope Francis on Thursday as anti-government unrest continues unabated in the South American country, the Vatican said in a statement on Monday.

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a mass of Pentecost in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

“The meeting was requested by the (Venezuelan) bishops conference, who would like to speak with the pope about the situation in Venezuela,” the statement said.

The appointment with the Argentine-born pontiff came months after Vatican-brokered peace talks between Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders broke down.

Protests have rocked Venezuela since early April, as food and medicine shortages have affected millions. At least 65 people have died in the unrest, with hundreds more injured.

Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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