The meeting in Doha sought to ‘unblock’ strained relations between Washington and Caracas.
Qatar last month hosted direct talks between Venezuelan National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez, advisor for the Western Hemisphere at the US National Security Council, according to Spanish daily El País.
The focus of the high-level meeting, which took place without mediators or third parties present, was to “establish a direct channel of communication” and unblock bilateral relations strained by crushing US sanctions and multiple coup attempts in Caracas conducted by US allies.
By facilitating dialogue between the US and Venezuela, the Gulf monarchy has filled the void left by Colombia and provided further evidence of its growing role as an international mediator.
In recent years, Qatar also hosted indirect talks between the EU and Iran to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and stepped in to mediate between US and Taliban officials, paving the way for an agreement that led to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Doha’s diplomatic versatility is an asset for Washington when dealing with Venezuela, as the nation never joined the list of countries that recognized disgraced opposition figure Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate president.”
Furthermore, when Washington unilaterally excluded Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from the Summit of the Americas in June 2022, the leftist leader launched a Eurasian and African tour, including a visit to Qatar.
“I had a long and fruitful conversation [with Qatar’s Emir] during which we touched on topics to strengthen our relationship. This will prove to be a successful visit for our peoples,” the Venezuelan leader said after meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Days later, Doha and Caracas announced plans to launch direct flights between the two cities.
Qatar sees Venezuela as a promising new market for investment, particularly in the mining, tourism, and oil sectors. The kingdom’s close relationship with Turkiye, one of Maduro’s key international partners, also helps to boost bilateral confidence.
mforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/mforinoco/September 23, 2023
mforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/mforinoco/September 16, 2023