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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Monday, August 28, 2006


Damascus, 28 August (AKI) - Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez will travel to Damascus on Wednesday to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad and other political leaders, Syrian sources said. Local papers have reported that Chavez and Assad could hold a joint press conference after their meeting, which was announced by Chavez last week.

Chavez is very popular in Syria where the media have referred to him as "an Arab president" and a role model.

Chavez's picture has also been spotted at several demonstrations, along with those of Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, after the Venezuelan president recalled his country's ambassador to Tel Aviv to protest against Israel's role in the conflict with the Lebanon-based Shiite guerrilla. Syria, together with Iran, has been accused by the international community of arming Hezbollah.

Political analysts however believe that Chavez's visit to Syria is purely symbolic considering that the president had announced his full support to UN resolution 1701 which calls for the disarming of Hezbollah.
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