Syria's Assad talks peace with visiting US lawmakers

May 28, 2009 19:34

Syrian President Bashar Bassad on Thursday discussed ways of improving US relations and bringing peace to the Middle East with two visiting American lawmakers, the state news agency said. Assad's talks with two Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Edward E. Kaufman of Delaware and Congressman Tim Waltz of Minnesota, focused on "the necessity to remove obstacles that hinder relations and to promote stability in the Middle East," Syria's official Arab News Agency reported. The US pulled its ambassador from Syria in 2005 to protest the country's suspected role in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri - a charge Damascus has denied. The Obama administration has not installed a new ambassador, but it has sent a pair of senior officials to visit Syria twice in the last few months. The White House's special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, is expected to visit Syria in June.

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