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Venezuela's Chavez Meets With Syria's Assad in Damascus

Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, right, review the honor guards at the Syrian presidential palace, in Damascus, 21 Oct. 2010

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with his Syrian counterpart Thursday, continuing a Mideast tour of allies to counter what he calls U.S. "imperialism."

Mr. Chavez flew in Wednesday from Tehran, where he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to establish a "new world order" to eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.

The Venezuelan leader seeks the same support in Syria, which is under U.S. sanctions because the State Department considers it a sponsor of terrorism. The United States also accuses Syria of secret nuclear activities, which Damascus denies.

At the end of his two-day visit to Iran, Mr. Chavez condemned possible military threats against Iran because of its disputed nuclear program.

He signed 11 agreements Wednesday with Iranian officials promoting cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles and trade.

Before meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and making other Middle East stops, Mr. Chavez traveled to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. He is due to travel next to Libya and Portugal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.