On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro met with his French counterpart, François Hollande in Paris, on the second stop of his first official trip to Europe, to discuss forging a “strategic alliance” between the two countries.
During the hour-long meeting in the Élysée Palace, Maduro and Hollande agreed to sign an accord before the end of the year that will build a stronger economic relationship between the two countries and ultimately serve as a platform from which to launch greater collaboration.
The leaders also discussed extending the countries’ collaboration beyond economic ties by creating new opportunities for science and technology exchanges. As part of the proposed strategic alliance, France will offer financial assistance to Venezuela to build up its technology industry and to support more efficient energy technology. The leaders will reconvene in Caracas in July, during which they will draw up and sign a formal accord.
In addition to encouraging bilateral ties, Hollande urged Maduro to promote greater integration among Latin American countries on security and economic issues, along the lines of early European integration.
During his visit to France, Maduro also met with entrepreneurs from the automobile company Renault and the oil company Total.