Venezuela, Syria sign cooperation agreements

09:06, June 28, 2010      

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (R) presents Syria's President Bashar al-Assad with a replica of the sword of national hero Simon Bolivar at Miraflores Palace in Caracas June 26, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, signing cooperation agreements on technology, agriculture and trade, the Venezuelan government said Sunday.

During their meeting late Saturday in Miraflores Palace, the government headquarters, the two leaders agreed to create a financing fund, with a value of 100 million U.S. dollars, for the establishment of joint ventures and a binational bank.

They also agreed to build a 4.7-billion-dollar refinery in Syria, with Venezuela covering at least 33 percent of the cost, Chavez said.

During the meeting, Chavez invited Syria to join the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) as an observer.

Al-Assad, the first Syrian president to visit Venezuela, is on a Latin American tour which also includes stops in Cuba, Brazil and Argentina.

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