Ahmadinejad Venezuela visit postponed
Ahmadinejad visit cancelled "for health reasons"
The Venezuelan government announced Friday that a planned visit from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been suspended while president Hugo Chavez recovers his “full health” after recent cancer treatment.
Chavez, who returned from his fourth and last chemotherapy session in Cuba on Thursday, last week announced the visit would follow Ahmadinejad’s visit to the UN General Assembly.
Venezuelan chancellor Nicolas Maduro announced the postponement at the closing of a joint Iranian/Venezuelan working group that evaluated nine cooperation accords between the two countries.
“Upon the full recuperation of president Hugo Chavez, in the coming weeks or months we hope to have our dear brother president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back”, Maduro said.
The suspended visit would have been the first since the US sanctioned Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA for doing business with Iran in violation of an international embargo, a move that the Chavez administration described as a new aggression by “the empire”.
The two presidents, both fierce critics of Washington, have developed more political and economic ties in recent years. Chavez, who plans to run for re-election in 2012, had surgery in Cuba to remove a tumor in June.