Maduro tour Turkey, Algeria, Iran, Kuwait and Qatar.

Maduro returns to Venezuela after tour of six allied countries.

During the tour, Maduro also met with the leaders of Turkey, Algeria, Iran, Kuwait and Qatar. He also met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

President Nicolas Maduro returned to Venezuela Saturday at the head of a 12-day delegation that toured six allied countries as part of an effort to deepen relations with them.

The return came just one day after several positive cases of COVID-19 were detected among members of his delegation.

The trip — which included Turkey, Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Azerbaijan — came as the South American country seeks to increase its trade relations with those allied countries to try to circumvent the effects of the economic sanctions that the United States has imposed on the Maduro government and revitalize the national economy.

“A necessary tour at the right time,” Maduro said upon arrival in Caracas. “Starting this week we will have meetings with businessmen from these countries to sign specific investment agreements in gas, oil, petrochemicals, refining, food production in Venezuela,” he added.

On Friday, Maduro spoke via videoconference with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, after a face-to-face meeting was canceled due to the detection of the new coronavirus after his arrival in Baku.

The Azerbaijani ruler commented that the meeting would be beneficial even though it was held online.

Maduro’s visit to Azerbaijan is the third since he assumed the presidency in 2013.

The tour was announced after U.S. President Joe Biden declined to invite him to the Summit of the Americas, which was held in Los Angeles last week.