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Assad praises Obama dialogue efforts

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — Syrian President Bashar Assad praised President Obama’s attempts at dialogue with his country.

Assad, speaking during a meeting with visiting U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Colo.) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), said he "appreciates that President Obama has adopted dialogue as the way to deal with difficult issues" and spoke of the "need to work to lift the obstacles that are hampering Syrian-American relations," according to the French news agency AFP, citing a report from the official Syrian news agency Sana.

Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, has visited Syria twice, most recently earlier this month, in an effort to engage the Assad regime.

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