A senior US diplomat is talking with Syrian officials about ways to speed up the process of admitting Iraqi refugees to America. The State Department's senior coordinator for Iraqi refugees, James Foley, held talks Tuesday with deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad. Foley says his visit is aimed at trying to assess the needs of Iraqi refugees in the region. He says the US has a "deep responsibility" to assist them. Foley arrived in Syria on Monday as part of a four-country Middle East tour. A State Department official said Saturday that the Bush administration is nearing the halfway point in its goal to admit 12,000 refugees by the end of September.