Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has arrived in Syria for a three-day diplomatic visit.
Syrian state media say President Bashar al-Assad met Mr. Chavez Tuesday at the airport in Damascus. The two leaders are expected to hold talks on bilateral cooperation.
The Venezuelan president has built close ties with Syria, Iran and other countries in the Middle East, while relations have grown tense with Israel.
Earlier this month, Israel recalled its ambassador to Venezuela after Mr. Chavez said that Israeli attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon were "genocide."
Previously, President Chavez withdrew Venezuela's ambassador to Israel to show what he called his "indignation" over the Israeli military offensive in Lebanon.
Some information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.