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Turkey doubles down on support for Venezuela’s Maduro

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Turkey will continue to lend support to embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and intends to deepen cooperation “in all fields” with Venezuela despite US pressure, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday, as reported by the Ahval news website.

“Any negative situation in Venezuela will affect the whole of Latin America, and it may even affect the Caribbean. We will continue to support Venezuela,” the pro-government Habertürk daily quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying during a joint news conference in Turkey with Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Turkey, along with Russia, China and Cuba, has become one of the greatest backers of Maduro, despite about 50 governments recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president in a US-led campaign to remove the embattled leader.

The two foreign ministers on Monday criticized US sanctions on Venezuela targeting the country’s gold trade, Habertürk said.

Arreaza said Turkey and Venezuela would “work continuously” to find alternative ways to increase trade.

Turkey is one of Venezuela’s main gold customers, with gold imports from Venezuela surging to almost $1 billion in 2018.

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