Syrian leader meets US politicians

Al-Assad quoted as praising Obama's adoption of dialogue to improve ties with Damascus.

    Al-Assad welcomed Washington's 'more open approach' to relations under Obama [AFP]

    Al-Assad also spoke of "the necessity to remove obstacles that hinder relations and to promote stability in the Middle East".

    US-Syrian relations have deteriorated following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, in 2005, which many blame on Syria. Damascus denies such allegations.

    The US withdrew its ambassador to Syria after al-Hariri's murder.

    However, Obama has encouraged good relations with Damascus, with Jeffery Feltman, Washington's foremost Middle East envoy, visiting the country in March.

    Feltman's visit was the first high-level US trip in four years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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