US House reps discuss relations with Assad

President Bashar Assad on Sunday discussed US-Syria relations and the latest developments in the Middle East with a three-man delegation from the United States House of Representatives, Syria's official news agency SANA reported. SANA said the two sides talked about the situation in Iraq and the Middle East more generally, but did not provide further details. The US House members included Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts and Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt. The delegation met earlier with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, who expressed Syria's desire to bring security and stability to the Middle East and called for dialogue with the US. He said discussions between the two countries could produce "common stands conducive to putting an end to current crises in the region." The visit came ahead of one on Tuesday by the leader of the US House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking politician to visit Damascus since relations began souring in 2003.