September 4, 2015 / 4:31 PM / 2 years ago

Venezuela's Maduro in Qatar to push for stabilizing oil prices

(Adds Maduro quote, context)

CARACAS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro arrived in fellow OPEC nation Qatar on Friday in an unannounced visit to push for action on oil prices.

"The Venezuelan head of state will have a working meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, during which it is expected the issue of stabilizing oil prices will be discussed," the presidential office said on its Web site.

Venezuela's Oil Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for further details.

Cash-strapped Venezuela has for months been pushing for an emergency OPEC meeting and joint coordination with Russia to stem a tumble in oil prices.

However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' relatively wealthy members in the Gulf drove the group's strategy shift last year to allow prices to fall to defend market share.

"I'm here to wrap up this necessary tour and continue strengthening economic, financial and energy links," tweeted Maduro, who was in Vietnam and China earlier this week.

Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco tweeted photos of himself arriving in Doha with Maduro as well as Oil Minister and state oil company PDVSA boss Eulogio del Pino.

Maduro in Beijing on Thursday met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin where he said various unspecified "initiatives" had been agreed.

However, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday that Russia and Venezuela did not reach agreement on measures to support global oil prices but added consultations would go on.

Venezuela's Oil Ministry did not respond to queries on the content of the initiatives Maduro said had been agreed to with Putin.

The South American country is known as an oil price hawk, and a severe recession and product shortages have heightened Maduro's need for a market recovery, especially ahead of a Dec. 6 parliamentary election. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and W Simon)

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