The Venezuelan official’s visit comes weeks after Doha and Caracas held a second round of political talks in Venezuela.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Eloina Rodriguez Gomez in Doha on Monday, where discussions centred on bilateral cooperation.
“During the meeting, they discussed cooperation relations between the two countries and prospects for developing them, in addition to several topics of common interest,” the Amiri Diwan said in a statement.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was also present at the meeting, the statement added.
The Venezuelan official’s visit comes weeks after Doha and Caracas held a second round of political talks in Venezuela between both foreign ministries.
The Qatari delegation was led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi and the Venezuelan side was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Yvan Gil Pinto.
A statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry at the time said the talks focused on “bilateral cooperation relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them”.
Al Muraikhi also met Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and the President of Venezuela’s Foreign Investment Center Felix Plasencia.
Alleged Qatari mediation
The talks took place amid reports of an alleged secret meeting that brought together the United States and Venezuela in Qatar, raising speculations on yet another major mediating role by the Gulf power broker.
First reported by Spain’s El Pais in June, the rumoured meeting allegedly took place between the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly Jorge Rodríguez and Juan Gonzalez, an advisor to US President Joe Biden.
The sources had claimed that both Rodriguez and Gonzalez “met to establish a direct channel of communication”.
“In the meeting, they talked about the release of prisoners and the need to normalise political life in Venezuela,” the report said, citing the same sources.
While Qatari officials have not publicly spoken on the reported discussions nor announced an official mediating role, analysts believe the heavyweight diplomatic power is “well-placed” to assume such a position between the US and Venezuela.
Tensions between Washington and the South American country spiked under the former US President Donald Trump, who had imposed sweeping sanctions on the country in a bid to exert maximum pressure on President Maduro.
The sanctions struck Caracas as it faced an economic crisis that led to a rise in inflation, forcing millions to starve and flee the country.
Trump’s perceived attempt to overthrow Maduro was widely seen by analysts as another US attempt to meddle in the affairs of Venezuela and the wider Latin American region.
In 2019, Maduro severed diplomatic ties with the US after it recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.
Notably, relations between the US and Venezuela have appeared to warm in recent months under the Joe Biden administration. In January, Maduro said he was open to normalising ties with the US following a visit by officials from the Biden administration.
Last year’s dialogue in Mexico between the US and Venezuela pointed to a possible breakthrough, with the US agreeing to release some $3-$5 billion of Caracas’ frozen funds abroad.
However, Venezuela said the Biden administration has yet to release the funds.
Notably, Qatar has assumed key mediation roles over the past decade, from US talks with the Taliban as well as the latest milestone prisoner exchange deal between Washington and Tehran.