In a report by research fellow N. Mozes, MEMRI said Chavez supported
Syria during an Arab and Western boycott of the Assad regime. In 2006, the
report said, Chavez formed an alliance with both Assad and Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid rising enmity by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
"[This was] a declaration of a new world [alliance] awaited and needed
by all humanity, [one] that declares that the peoples are again managing
their own affairs and that resistance is not just a romantic slogan but also
a living fact," the report quoted former Lebanese parliamentarian and Assad
supporter Nasser Qandil as saying.
Titled "Syria Regains Pivotal Regional, International Role," the report
said Venezuela helped Syria emerge from international isolation. The report,
quoting Syrian leaders, deemed 2009 a watershed in Syrian diplomacy.
"For Syria, 2009 was a year of political success in every sense of the
term, and on all fronts," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al Mualem said.
Western intelligence sources said Venezuela has become a key way-station
for Iranian weapons deliveries to Hizbullah and Syria. They said Venezuela
was also an option for energy supplies to the Assad regime.