Chavez: Venezuela willing to talk with Exxon Mobil

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government would be open to negotiating with Exxon Mobil Corp. in a dispute over the nationalization of an oil project in the country.

Venezuelan officials have previously said Exxon Mobil’s compensation demands are excessive. The Irving, Texas-based oil company turned to international arbitration after refusing to accept the terms of the nationalization in 2007.

Chavez says he would be willing to “sit down with them and seek a friendly settlement, but that’s up to them and not to us.”

Exxon Mobil declined to comment.

Chavez said during a news conference Tuesday that his government has always sought agreements in such cases when possible.