Margarita Island (Venezuela), Sep 17: Vice President Hamid Ansari today held talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on a host of issues of mutual interest after arriving here to attend the 17th NAM Summit.
Ansari called on Maduro in his first official engagement in Venezuela after arriving here as the leader of the Indian delegation at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is only the second Indian Premier to give the Cold War-era bloc's summit a miss after Charan Singh in 1979.
In his call on with Maduro, Ansari was accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and Secretary West Sujata Mehta. The meeting between Ansari and Maduro came less than a month after Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez visited India to personally hand over an invitation for India's participation in the 17th NAM Summit.
She had held "substantive" talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to explore deepening of ties in a range of areas including in trade and investment and hydrocarbons sector. The two countries had also agreed to finalise a number of key pacts including double tax avoidance agreement.
The two sides had agreed to move ahead for an early finalisation of a number of agreements in different areas, including Extradition Treaty, Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) on Criminal Matters and Air Services Agreement.