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Venezuelan president wraps up Algeria trip with talks on oil

Posted September 11

— Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said at the end of a two-day visit to Algeria Monday that his country and the North African nation were working to achieve "equitable" oil prices.

Maduro said his talks with Algeria's second-ranking official, Council of the Nation President Abdelkader Bensalah, had a "good climate." The Council of the Nation operates like a Senate.

The Venezuelan leader apparently did not meet with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who rarely has been seen in public since he suffered a 2013 stroke.

Algeria and Venezuela both are members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The countries have struggled with low oil prices hitting their economies.

Maduro said he was visiting Algeria "to strengthen cooperation for the development of peace and economic prosperity," according to Algeria's official APS news agency.

OPEC and 11 non-OPEC oil producers agreed last year to reduce production until March 2018 to boost prices.

"We are continuing our efforts to obtain equitable oil prices for our industry," APS quoted Maduro as saying. There was no elaboration.

Maduro also discussed bilateral relations with Algeria, which like Venezuela is a non-aligned nation, and the possibility of establishing an air route between Algiers and Caracas.

Bouteflika's office had said in a statement that Maduro's visit would look at "ways and means to consolidate" bilateral relations. It said talks were to address international issues of "common interest," including the hydrocarbons market.

The United States has escalated its pressure on Venezuela as Maduro has consolidated power in recent months amid deadly protests.

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