Venezuela, Saudi leaders meet and talk oil prices in Riyadh

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman a day after meeting Iran's supreme leader to talk about the slump in global oil prices.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday that the leaders discussed areas of cooperation between the two OPEC-member countries and ways to promote bilateral ties. Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi and Venezuelan Oil Minister Asdrubal Chavez were also at the meeting.

Oil prices have plunged more than 55 percent since June to less than $50 a barrel, placing a severe strain on Venezuela. Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer, has refused to cut production despite willingness to do so by Venezuela and others.

Saudi Arabia has strong financial reserves to weather lower oil prices, but Venezuela's cash-strapped is among the cartel's most vulnerable.