Kerry to Meet with Assad next Week

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Senator John Kerry (D-Mass), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will meet with President Bashar Assad in Damascus next week.

The trip previews US President Barack Obama's plans to open dialogue with terror-sponsoring regimes hostile to US policy, such as Syria and Iran.

Kerry will travel with a congressional delegation, which will also visit Israel.

The US State Department is arranging the trip.

Frederick Jones, spokesman for Senator Kerry, called the visit "part of a continuing dialogue he has had with the Syrian government."

Kerry last met with the Syrian president in 2006, when he allegedly spoke with Assad of his concern with the flow of "money, weapons and terrorists" through Syria into Lebanon and Iraq.

While Assad is anxious to open dialogue with the Obama regime, an avenue denied him during the Bush administration, he said he would not accept any preconditions to talks.

Meanwhile, Syria's al-Baath newspaper said the US agreed to provide the parts to repair two Boeing 747 airliners.

According to the report, Syrian Minister of Transportation Yarub Badr received word two days ago that the US approved the deal.

The decision is seen as part of the Obama administration's plan to end former President George W. Bush's economic embargo of Syria, which banned all US exports to Syria, except for food and medicine, by executive order from May 2004 until now.

Source: The Associated Press

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