Qatar’s ruler hosted Venezuela’s vice president for an official visit on Wednesday.
Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and her delegation at the Al Bahr Palace. They discussed ways to improve bilateral relations, according to the official Qatar News Agency.
Qatar-Venezuela relations are noteworthy because of both states’ relations with the United States. Qatar is a strong US ally. Venezuela, on the other hand, has an acrimonious relationship with Washington. The United States opposes the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro and supports an opposition government. The US government maintains several sanctions on Venezuela and particularly opposes the Bolivarian Republic’s relations with Iran.
Qatar’s cordial relations with Venezuela are not new. Rodriguez also visited Doha in 2020 to discuss bilateral relations and attend a ping pong competition, according to the Venezuelan state-funded teleSUR news outlet.
The administration of former President Donald Trump made significant efforts to publicly counter the Venezuelan government on a number of issues, particularly regarding Iranian fuel deliveries to the South American country. US President Joe Biden has not made Venezuela as much of a focus of his foreign policy in comparison, though US sanctions remain in place. On Qatar, US relations remain strong with the Gulf state.
For several years, Qatar and Venezuela were both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Qatar left the organization in 2019 to focus on natural gas.