Saudi Arabia has welcomed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on an official visit, reaching out to yet another U.S. foe as the oil-rich kingdom engages in a flurry of diplomacy.
Maduro arrived late Sunday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where he was greeted by Saudi officials, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
It did not give a reason for the visit or elaborate on his schedule, but Saudi Arabia is hosting an international conference on combating extremism later this week in the capital, Riyadh. The gathering will be co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Saudi Arabia has been a close U.S. ally for decades, but relations have been strained in recent years. Over the last few months, the kingdom has restored relations with Iran’s theocracy and Syria’s President Bashar Assad — both seen as pariahs in the West.
Last month, the Saudis welcomed Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a close Western ally, to an Arab League summit. But days later, they hosted a senior Russian official who is under Western sanctions.
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