U.S. sees progress as Syria allows opposition to meet

09:35, June 29, 2011      

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The U.S. believed the Syrian government is making progress after it allowed opposition members to meet within the country, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

"The fact that opposition members were allowed to meet in Syria for the first time in decades, as I understand it, is progress and is something that is new and is important for the democratic process in Syria that we all want to see," she told reporters in a regular briefing.

"We're simply pleased to see that the opposition has been allowed some breathing space, and the key element of Syria moving in the right direction will be that continues to be the case and that the government begins to engage with these folks," said Nuland.

She indicated that the "progress" came after some trusted senior advisors of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been able to convey U.S. messages on reform to him.

"We think this is a move in the right direction, but there is far more to be done," she said, urging the Syrian government to end violence throughout the country and begin a "broader public process."

Syrian government on Monday allowed members of the opposition to meet to discuss the political change in the country. U.S. congressman Dennis Kucinich said on Tuesday, during his visit to Syria, that President al-Assad is serious about making changes, voicing hopes that the situation in Syria would settle down soon.

Source: Xinhua
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