On a visit to Damascus, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has labeled Israel as a ‘genocidal’ and ‘killer’ state, while calling for the return of the Golan Heights to Syria.
"The state of Israel has become a genocidal state, a killer state, enemy of peace," he said at a press conference with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.
Venezuela and Syria are facing the same "struggles" and have the same "enemies," Chavez said, adding that "Israel has become the enforcer of the policies of the American empire."
He called for the end of Israel’s 42-year occupation of the Golan Heights and urged the lifting of "the blockade of Palestinian territories."
"It is time to raise Nasser’s flag again, for socialism, people power and the liberation of the Arab people," Chavez said, referring to Egyptian pan-Arab nationalist former president Jamal Abdel Nasser.
Assad for his part said, "Israel is not ready to make peace either in the short term or the long term … all Israeli governments since 1991 are identical and right up to the present the peace process has produced nothing new."
"The only thing differentiating these governments is their tactics but deep down they are the same and opinion polls show that Israelis are not ready to make peace, because they do not want to give the land back," the Syrian president said.
The Venezuelan president arrived on Thursday for a two-day visit, as part of a regional tour which has already taken him to Libya and Algeria.
Afterwards, he is scheduled to visit Iran, Belarus and Russia. Chavez also said at the press conference that he will stop briefly in Turkmenistan.