Syria and Venezuela discuss Mideast affairs

Syrian President Bashar Assad discussed developments in the Middle East Monday the with Venezuelan foreign minister who invited the Arab leader to visit the Latin American state, the official Syrian Arab News Agency said. Assad and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro also discussed relations between the two states whose leaders are at odds with the United States and ways of strengthening them, SANA added. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said during a visit to Damascus in August that he and Syria will "build a new world" free of US domination, vowing eventually to "dig the grave of US imperialism." Maduro's visit came days after Iran's national carrier launched flights to Venezuela through Damascus in what the Syrian transportation minister trumpeted as a move to do away with all "harassment" that Muslim travelers allegedly encounter in a post-Sept. 11 world. SANA said Maduro invited Assad to visit Venezuela and that the Syrian president accepted the invitation. It added that their talks about the Middle East focused on the situation in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.