Iran's president opened his nation's wallet to Bolivia and then visited Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, in a post-UN trip to boost ties with Latin American leftists who are increasingly embracing Iran as a counterweight to US influence.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged Thursday to invest US$1 billion (â‚¬710 million) in Bolivia over the next five years to help the poor Andean nation tap its vast natural gas reserves, extract minerals, generate more electricity and fund agricultural and construction projects.
Bolivian President Evo Morales, who joins Chavez as one of Iran's key allies, called Ahmadinejad's visit historic. The two nations established diplomatic relations for the first time, and Morales pledged they "will work together from this day on, for our people, for life and for humanity."
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