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U.S. rejects Maduro decision to sever diplomatic ties

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday rejected a move by Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro to break diplomatic ties, saying it did not think he had the authority to cut ties and it would conduct relations with a government led by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

"The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido, who has invited our mission to remain in Venezuela," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

"The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations." (Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sandra Maler)