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Maduro, Iran FM Discuss Defense Against 'External Pressures'

Maduro, Iran FM Discuss Defense Against 'External Pressures'

Saturday, 4 February, 2023 - 17:45
This handout picture released by Miraflores Palace press office shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) speaking with Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) during a meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on February 3, 2023. (Photo by JHONN ZERPA / Miraflores press office / AFP)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the visiting Iranian foreign minister discussed the need for "vigilance in defending their national interests against external pressures," according to a statement released Saturday.

The Caracas visit Friday by Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian underlined the strength of an alliance between two countries seen as outcasts by much of the international community, both of them subject to US sanctions.

Maduro received Abdollahian on Friday evening in the Miraflores presidential palace after the Iranian minister arrived from Managua, Nicaragua.

"I am sure that our relations will continue to strengthen for technological, industrial, scientific and cultural exchanges that benefit both peoples," Maduro wrote on Twitter, calling the meeting "productive."

On a visit to Tehran last June, Maduro signed a 20-year pact which he said opened "major fronts" for cooperation in the petroleum, petrochemical and defense sectors.

On Friday, the two parties "emphasized the strengthening and monitoring of projects and accelerating their implementation, as well as vigilance in defending their national interests against external pressures," a statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

"The parties also welcomed the increase in relations and exchange of views between the officials of the two countries," AFP quoted it as saying.

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