ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The US is monitoring commerce between its NATO ally Turkey and Venezuela and can take motion if it judges any sanctions have been violated, a senior U.S. official stated on Thursday.

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition chief and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido participate in a protest towards Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s authorities in Caracas, Venezuela January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Three months in the past Washington launched new sanctions geared toward disrupting gold gross sales from Venezuela, which exported greater than 20 tonnes of the valuable steel to Turkey in 2018.

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On Friday Marshall Billingslea, U.S. assistant secretary for terrorist financing on the Treasury, is because of maintain talks in Ankara with the Turkish authorities.

The journey was initially deliberate to debate U.S. sanctions on Iran, which exports gasoline to neighboring Turkey, however was prone to embody Venezuelan points as effectively, a senior U.S. official stated.

“We’re wanting on the nature of Turkish-Venezuelan business exercise, and if we assess a violation of our sanctions, we’ll clearly take motion,” the official stated.

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Final yr Venezuela exported 23.63 tonnes of gold value $900 million to Turkey, in comparison with zero the yr earlier than, official Turkish knowledge confirmed. Almost all that amount was within the first 9 months of the yr, earlier than Washington imposed new sanctions in November.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has stood by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, calling him final week to specific help after Washington backed opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim head of the nation.

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The official stated Washington was dissatisfied that Turkey continued to help Maduro.

“We have now talked to the Turks like we’ve got talked to an terrible lot of governments all over the world, sharing our perspective and asking them to hitch us in acknowledging the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime,” the official stated.

“They haven’t responded positively to that dialog so far.”

Reporting by Dominic Evans and Nevzat Devranoglu; Modifying by Catherine Evans

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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