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Venezuela's Maduro visit to Saudi Arabia is another signal to US

Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Relations Yvan Gil said Monday that cooperation projects in oil and gas, petrochemicals and infrastructure were addressed in Jeddah.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, June 5, 2023.

DUBAI — High-level meetings between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela that began in Jeddah on Monday including with the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, demonstrate the kingdom’s next diplomatic wave seeking to balance between the traditional East versus West political blocs and gain greater freedom of movement on the global stage. 

The visit coming hours before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival in Jeddah on Tuesday,  is a signal to Washington that has imposed sanctions on the struggling Latin American country for more than 15 years. The Biden administration, however, has relaxed some of these sanctions and has a direct negotiating channel with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro arrived in Jeddah early Monday, after visiting Turkey, along with a delegation that included First Lady Cilia Flores, Foreign Affairs Minister Yvan Eduardo, Minister of Oil Pedro Rafael along with other key ministers, according to official statements. They met with the Saudi Crown Prince along with a number of ministerial counterparts.

Venezuela's oil exports have been stumbling due to old refineries, and sanctions. They fell 14% in May from the previous month as crude upgraders at its main oil region produced less exportable grades and state-run oil firm PDVSA struggled to replenish inventories, Reuters reported. 

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