Syrian president sends message with envoy to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez

A senior Syrian diplomat is visiting Venezuela and says he brought a private message from Syrian President Bashar Assad for his ally Hugo Chavez.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Al Mokdad didn't give details about Assad's message to Chavez, saying only that it deals with relations between the two leaders.

The Syrian diplomat spoke at a news conference in Caracas on Tuesday as he began a Latin American tour that will also take him to Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Chavez has been a vocal defender of Assad, and has accused the U.S. and its allies of provoking violence in Syria to try to topple its government.