Venezuela’s president plans to visit Iran “very soon”

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CARACAS, Dec. 26 (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that he will visit Iran soon to finalize new cooperation agreements with the Middle East country, which is Venezuela’s most important ally in boosting oil production amid the US sanctions has become.

Venezuela and Iran have strengthened their ties since last year.

Maduro’s government has received vital equipment for its oil industry from Iran, which in return has received crude oil and other primary resources from the South American country. Iran was critical to Venezuela’s rising oil production in 2021.

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“I will be traveling to Tehran very soon to allow President (Ebrahim) Raisi to visit me, so that we can meet in person, hold talks and sign new agreements … and speed up cooperation processes,” Maduro said during an interview with the satellite news channel Al Mayadeen in Spanish, which was later broadcast on Venezuelan state television.

Maduro said he had two phone calls with the Iranian president, adding that they agreed to work on new plans without giving details. He also did not give a date for the visit, but described the two countries as “fighters”.

In 2022, Venezuela will also try to reactivate means of cooperation with Arab countries, Maduro added, saying: “They love us in the Arab world, I know that Arab governments and peoples love Venezuela.”

The tightening of US sanctions since 2019 has affected Venezuela’s ability to sell crude oil and imported fuel, exacerbating gasoline shortages across the country.

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Reporting by Deisy Buitrago letter by Oliver Griffin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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