The European Parliament is planning to consider a draft resolution on recognising Juan Guaido, the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela and also to call on EU member states to make the same decision.

Guaido declared himself the country's interim president on 23 January amid an escalating political crisis in the country.

"The European Parliament… recognises Mr Guaido as the legitimate interim president of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, as stated in Article 233 thereof, and expresses its full support for his roadmap", the draft resolution, released on the website of the European Parliament late on Wednesday, read.

The European Parliament is calling on Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and the bloc's member states to adopt a "strong" and "unified" stance and recognise Guaido as "the only legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy". 

The European Parliament welcomes the decision by "many democratic states" to recognise Guaido as the interim president of the Latin American country, according to the draft resolution.The body also calls on Mogherini to cooperate with "the countries in the region and any other key actors" to create a contact group that could mediate "with a view to building an agreement on the calling of free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on an agreed calendar, equal conditions for all actors, transparency and international observation".

Earlier in the day, Guaido said that European Parliament President Antonio Tajani had expressed his support for the National Assembly, adding that he appreciated the move. 

While the United States and a number of other countries support Guaido as the interim president, Russia, China and others have backed the government of legitimate President Nicolas Maduro.