Erdogan voices Turkey's support to Maduro in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro decorates Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the Order of the Liberator in Caracas

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Following his talks with Erdogan, Maduro headed to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, slated for Wednesday, according to the Kremlin.

Trade between the two countries have been growing, with Turkish data showing the country imported US$900 million in gold from Venezuela in the first nine months of the year.

"We know that the countries want to dominate and press, as they do with the rest of the world, and they have even threatened their lives and personal integrity", stated Erdogan.

Turkey this year has become the largest importer of non-monetary gold from Venezuela.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blasted the economic sanctions imposed against Venezuela, vowing efforts to strengthen bilateral trade ties amid the two countries' tense relations with the United States.

Maduro contends he is the victim of an "economic war" led by US-backed adversaries.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", said the Turkish head of state.

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"We do not interfere in the trade of the USA or other countries, nobody should interfere with our commercial and economic activities", he said, stressing that the South American country would continue to legally export its gold resources.

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Both leaders are battling financial crises and have clashed with the United States in recent months.

Maduro expressed hopes that Erdoğan's visit would pave the way for a "new phase" in relations between the two countries.

Venezuela, which has been rocked by deadly protests and economic chaos, is counting on Russian support amid growing worldwide isolation.

Maduro responded by saying that his government has overcome the challenges it faced.

In what Maduro said was a clear message to the world, he stressed Turkey's position as an "important leader" in Eurasia and the current head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as Caracas' place as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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