Tethering factors mediate initial interaction of transport vesicles with target membranes. Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) enable consequent docking and membrane fusion. We demonstrate that the vesicle tether conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with intra-Golgi SNARE molecules. In yeast cells, the COG complex preferentially interacts with the SNARE complexes containing yeast Golgi target (t)-SNARE Sed5p. In mammalian cells, hCog4p and hCog6p interact with Syntaxin5a, the mammalian homologue of Sed5p. Moreover, fluorescence resonance energy transfer reveals an in vivo interaction between Syntaxin5a and the COG complex. Knockdown of the mammalian COG complex decreases Golgi SNARE mobility, produces an accumulation of free Syntaxin5, and decreases the steady-state levels of the intra-Golgi SNARE complex. Finally, overexpression of the hCog4p N-terminal Syntaxin5a-binding domain destabilizes intra-Golgi SNARE complexes, disrupting the Golgi. These data suggest that the COG complex orchestrates vesicular trafficking similarly in yeast and mammalian cells by binding to the t-SNARE Syntaxin5a/Sed5p and enhancing the stability of intra-Golgi SNARE complexes.