US envoys held energy talks with Venezuela’s President Maduro: White House

WASHINGTON: The White House said Monday (Mar 7) that a US delegation held weekend talks in Venezuela with the government of President Nicolas Maduro that included a discussion of energy supplies — as Washington looks for ways to reduce its imports of Russian oil.

Venezuela’s opposition also said it had met with the high-level US delegation, whose trip to Caracas — reported by multiple US media — came as Washington seeks to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Maduro, with whose regime the United States broke off relations in 2019, has been among the few international figures to assure Russian President Vladimir Putin of his “strong support” in the wake of the invasion.

“As it relates to Venezuela, the purpose of the trip that was taken by administration officials was to discuss a range of issues including certainly energy, energy security,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Maduro confirmed the meeting in a televised appearance late Monday, describing it as “respectful, cordial and diplomatic” without going into detail about the issues addressed.

“We did it in the presidential office,” he said. “We had almost two hours talking.”

“It seemed very important to me to be able, face to face, to discuss topics of maximum interest to Venezuela,” he continued.

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