Syrian official invited for talks in Washington

Syrian official invited

A senior Syrian official has been invited to Washington for talks, a US Embassy official said Monday, in the latest signal of the Obama administration's efforts to improve relations with a country deemed a state sponsor of terrorism. The upcoming visit by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad is the first in about five years and is part of US efforts to improve strained relations with Damascus. Mekdad, who is currently in New York as part of the Syrian delegation to the UN General Assembly meetings, will fly to Washington on Monday for talks with US government officials on "a range of issues," the embassy official said.