Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday former US president George Bush, father of the current US head of state George W. Bush, would visit Caracas Friday.
Chavez made the announcement during the Sunday broadcast of his "Hello, President?" radio show that the former president, whom he had met previously in Houston, Texas, "would stop by so we can talk a little bit."
Chavez also reassured his listeners that in his upcoming five-day state visit to Saudi Arabia, scheduled to begin February 16, he aimed to "strengthen the alliance" between the two OPEC producers.
The two countries' relationship was not confined to petroleum, he indicated. There were plans for increased cooperation in natural gas, tourism and cultural exchange, because "We have many common roots with the Arab people," Chavez said.
"Saudi Arabia is a critical country for us, in terms of our relationship with the Arab world and the rest of the world, primarily because of OPEC and the need to have allies in defending the proper pricing structure of oil and in order to be able to meet our people's needs."
Chavez's six-day trip to the Middle East will include a one-day stop in Qatar. It is the second time in as many years he has traveled to the region, having visited the region last year to extend personal invitations for OPEC leaders to attend a September, 2000, OPEC summit here.
Venezuela is the sole Latin American member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )