U.S. Senator restates commitment to enhancing ties with Syria

09:45, April 02, 2010      

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U.S. Senator John Kerry Thursday in Damascus called for more engagement between the United States and Syria, reaffirming his country's commitment to boost bilateral relationship.

Kerry, who chairs U.S. Senate Foreign Relation Committee, on Wednesday started his Middle East tour for talks with top Lebanese and Syrian officials on the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process, especially between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a schedule provided by senator's office.

"I have long advocated American engagement with Syria and I am committed to working on a continued effort to achieve progress in our bilateral relationship," Kerry told reporters after meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He described the talks between him and President al-Assad as " comprehensive and positive," which is upon formidable challenges the Middle East region is facing.

"We found agreement on a number of ways in which both of us and other countries can contribute significantly to changing the dynamics that exist today," Kerry said.

The former U.S. candidate also confirmed that it is the U.S. interest to have an ambassador in Syria, given that important role played by Syria in the Mideast peace process.

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