Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ties between the Palestinian Authority and Venezuela were strengthened in Caracas on Friday during talks between Mahmoud Abbas and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that saw both leaders sign in a new accords between the two governments in the areas of energy and finance.
Oil-rich Venezuela has been a firm ally of the Palestinian Authority since President Hugo Chavez, who had long criticized Israel and the United States.
Abbas thanked his Venezuelan counterpart for standing with the Palestinian people in their fight for independence.
"Thank you Venezuela for supporting Palestine, thank you Venezuela for helping to break the monopoly that Israel has over our economy. Thank you Venezuela for responding to our needs, thank you Venezuela for being available to continue to lend the Palestinian people more support in their fight," he said.
The deal will see Venezuela provide 240 thousand barrels of crude diesel to help build the Palestinian economy.
Maduro heralded the deal as the birth of PetroPalestine.
"This is a contract to supply concrete and this agreement is from Venezuela to Palestine for the diesel that Palestine needs to keep its economy growing and consolidating. PetroPalestine is born and it's the alliance between Venezuela and Palestine," he declared.
Abbas' visit comes just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended peace talks following a unity pact between the Palestinian leader and rival Islamist group Hamas.