DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged solidarity on Wednesday with Syria in its struggle against Israel and the United States and predicted the demise of U.S. "imperialism." Chavez, a harsh critic of U.S. foreign policy, also said he would seek a front-row seat if President George W. Bush accepted an invitation from Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a televised debate, adding he would be cheering on the Iranian president. "Syria and Venezuela share the same firm positions and a resistance to imperialism and imperialist aggression," Chavez told a news conference after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, speaking in Spanish through an Arab interpreter. "This age will witness the end of American imperialism," he said, pointing a laser pen at a map of the world showing countries where Washington has intervened militarily or whose governments it has helped to topple over the last 50 years. Chavez denounced what he called Israel's "Nazi crimes" in Lebanon during the recent war and said the Jewish state should pull its remaining troops out of that country and also out of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967. "Nothing equals the Nazi crimes Israel has committed in Lebanon and against the Palestinians," said Chavez, who arrived in Syria on Tuesday evening from Malaysia. Chavez's popularity shot up across the Arab world after he ordered Venezuela's envoy to Israel home earlier this month to protest Israel's military offensive against Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Many civilians died in the fighting. He has threatened to break off diplomatic ties with Israel. FIGHTING "IMPERIALISM" Commenting on Iranian President Ahmadinejad's challenge to Bush on Tuesday to discuss the world's problems in a televised debate, Chavez said: "I wish I could be sitting at the front row and watch Ahmadinejad deal Bush a knock-out blow." The White House has called the proposal a "diversion." The U.N. Security Council has given Iran until Thursday to suspend its uranium enrichment program or possibly face sanctions. Ahmadinejad has shocked the West with his calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." He and Chavez established a warm rapport when the Venezuelan leader visited Tehran last month. Chavez, a robust ex-paratrooper, has courted other anti-U.S. leaders from Belarus to Cuba in recent months as he tries to build a broad global coalition against "imperialism." After Chavez's talks on Wednesday with Assad at a hilltop palace overlooking both Damascus and the Golan Heights, the two countries signed a raft of deals on cooperation in sectors ranging from agriculture to oil. The United States imposed sanctions on Syria in 2004 for allegedly backing terrorism. Damascus shrugged off calls by Washington, Israel's chief ally, to pressure Hizbollah to accept Israel's demands during the recent war.