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Iran ally Venezuela follows ‘worrying events’ in Middle East

By Vivian Sequera

CARACAS (Reuters) – The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is following the “worrying events” in the Middle East, it said on Saturday, but it did not condemn Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel earlier in the day.

Venezuela is an ally of Iran, Russia and China. Its communication with the United States has somewhat improved in the past two years as Maduro’s government has promised the U.S. it will allow greater participation by the political opposition in upcoming elections.

Peace in the Middle East could only be guaranteed once justice and international law were reestablished, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil said in a statement on the X social media website, adding that this was mainly with regard to the Palestinian people and state.

“As a result of the genocide in Palestine and the irrationality of the Israeli regime as well as the inaction of the United Nations, the situation of instability in the region has worsened dramatically in recent weeks,” the statement said.

“Venezuela advocates the construction of peace with justice as most countries in the world want.”

On Friday, White House officials confirmed that delegates of U.S. President Joe Biden had met secretly with representatives of the Maduro government in Mexico this week.

The U.S. has lifted sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry temporarily as a result of an agreement to give the opposition more participation in the elections this year.

It will decide by April 18 whether to reimpose the sanctions in response to what it considers Maduro’s failure to live up to his commitment to the agreement on the elections.

Most other countries in the region condemned the Iranian attacks.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera in Caracas; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)