Caracas: Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez has reiterated his support for ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling them "brothers."

"I ask God for the life of our brother Gaddafi... No one knows where Gaddafi is, I think he went to the desert," Chavez said.

The 57-year-old Venezuelan leader has defended Gaddafi since the start of the uprising against his regime in February, accusing NATO of using the conflict to gain control over Libya's oil.

The whereabouts of Gaddafi, who ruled the North African nation with an iron fist for more than four decades, are unknown.

Chavez has refused to recognize Libya's new interim leadership, ridiculing its UN representative Ibrahim Dabbashi as a "puppet" and a "dummy."

The Venezuelan leader said he had spoken by telephone late on Friday with Assad, who is fighting "an aggression from Yankee imperialists and their European allies."

"Our solidarity is with the Syrian people, with President Bashar," he added.

Foreign ministers of the eight member states in the leftist ALBA bloc plan to travel to Syria to prevent what Chavez called "the madness of war by (US) President (Barack) Obama and his imperial allies to destroy the Syrian people."

(Agencies)