Assad: US-Syria talks were not a 'breakthrough'

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday said last week's talks between his country's foreign minister and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were not a "breakthrough," instead accusing the Bush administration of making Damascus a scapegoat for the failures in Iraq. Thursday's talks on Iraq's deteriorating security situation between Rice and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem were billed as a diplomatic turning point for the Bush administration, which has long refused to talk to Damascus. But Assad would not go as far to say the talks were the end to poor relations between the two countries, saying it is difficult to make progress over Iraq's security when there are "bad political relations." "It's too early to say it's a breakthrough... we are still waiting to see how they (the US) want to start," Assad said during an interview with NBC'S "Today" show.