FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro meets with Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji, in Tehran, Iran, June 13, 2022. REUTERS./

CARACAS – Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji arrived in Venezuela on a visit meant to “strengthen energy relations,” the South American country’s foreign ministry said.

The trip will include visits to the facilities of state oil company PDVSA, as well as meetings with Venezuelan authorities, the foreign ministry added in a statement.

Owji has already met with his Venezuelan counterpart Pedro Tellechea, who also heads PDVSA, a source at the firm told Reuters. He also plans to visit the El Palito refinery on Venezuela’s north-central coast, the source added.

Tehran has strengthened ties with Caracas in recent years, providing crude and raw materials for Venezuela’s aging refining network, as well as overseeing a project to modernize the largest refining complex in the country.

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