Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for a working visit aimed at strengthening political, diplomatic and energy ties with the kingdom. Maduro was received at King Abdulaziz International Airport by Saudi officials and later met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at his palace in Jeddah.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common interest, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. They also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields, including trade, investment, tourism, culture and health.
Maduro praised Saudi Arabia’s role in stabilizing the global oil market and expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers to ensure a fair price for crude.
Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves but has been struggling with a severe economic crisis and US sanctions that have crippled its oil industry.
Maduro’s visit to Saudi Arabia comes amid a diplomatic offensive by the Venezuelan leader to gain more recognition and support in the region after years of isolation and pressure from the United States and its allies. Last week, Maduro attended a South American summit hosted by Brazil’s left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, where he received a warm welcome and held bilateral meetings with several leaders, including Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez and Colombia’s Gustavo Petro.