On Monday, during an international tour of member nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said that the bloc is “building a new era in the oil market” to efficiently respond to the drop in oil prices.
Following a meeting with government leaders in Qatar, President Maduro said the country has “given him a vote of confidence” to continue attempting to forge a consensus among oil nations, while also announcing bilateral accords in food, tourism, economics and oil.
Maduro stressed that Venezuelan and Qatar “have found mechanisms in common to stabilize oil prices” and noted that conversations with Qatari leaders have also focused on exploiting the Orinoco Oil Belt, the processing of crude and on petrochemicals.
“Venezuela and Qatar reject the use of oil as geopolitical weapon against Russia… Qatar and Venezuela aim to bring a new era of a strengthened OPEC,” he said.
Rolando Segura, Telesur’s special envoy, reported from Doha that Qatar has “recognized the Venezuelan President’s courage in leading this international effort to stabilize the oil market,” while also “beginning to draw up a strategy to forge a consensus for stabilizing the international economy.”
Food and Tourism
Maduro also announced that Venezuela and Qatar discussed a proposal to export food from the former to the latter. He noted that former President “Chávez had proposed it to the Emir [Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani] years ago, to develop agricultural production.”
“As you know, these countries are in the desert, which is why they import a lot of food. We are going to develop the agriculture sector, its production, with Venezuelan quality. In upcoming days the Emir will designate a commission to work out the details of this project,” the President said.
“Qatar has a special fund to invest in food production… We produce for ourselves and we want to produce the food Qatar needs… We have thought about an export route for quality food for the region,” Maduro continued.
The Venezuelan President also mentioned strengthening the tourism industry. On that point, Maduro affirmed that Qatar “is very interested in tourism investments” and that they had negotiated establishing a direct Doha-Caracas flight route. “The Doha-Caracas route will open paths for cultural, economic and tourist exchanges between our nations,” he said.
President Maduro arrived in Qatar on Sunday as part of a tour of oil producing nations in order to form strategies to stabilize the price of oil.
On this international tour, the Venezuelan President has discussed economic and strategic projects to strengthen the oil market and aid in its recovery.
On Saturday, President Maduro met with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, in Teheran, Iran. During the meeting, the two presidents agreed to continue strengthening OPEC.
President Maduro is set to arrive in Algeria on Tuesday, where he will discuss the two country’s bilateral ties.
Consensus for Stabilizing the Oil Market
While on this international tour, President Maduro stressed that there is already a common position in favor of a consensus given this geopolitical issue. He also criticized the Western-dominated international media for attempting to subvert this consensus.
“We have to defend our fundamental resources, which is oil. While others from the right wing rub their hands and make plans, wagering that oil will continue to fall, that prices will remain low, that Venezuela will go economically broke, we have to focus on our work,” he said.
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / January 12, 2015