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Wednesday, February 17, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Syria cultivating strategic ties with Venezuela

Special From Geostrategy-Direct.com

WASHINGTON — Syria has improved defense and energy relations with Venezuela.   

A report said the regime of President Bashar Assad has enhanced strategic ties with Venezuela over the last year. They said the improved relations with Caracas were coordinated with Iran, Syria's leading ally.

"Syria-Venezuela relations became closer after Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998," the report by the Middle East Media and Research Institution said. "As part of his anti-American policy, Chavez tightened relations with countries such as Syria and Iran."


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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.




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