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Syrian Leader Says He Has Discussions with U.S. Officials ‘From Time to Time’

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters

In an interview published on Sunday by Syria’s official Sana News Agency, the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, revealed that his government has occasional discussions with United States officials.

The sanctioned leader told an interviewer from Georgia’s Abkhazia region that “America is currently illegally occupying part of our lands, we meet with them from time to time, although these meetings do not lead to anything.”

When asked about the possibility of improving relations with Western nations, the dictator said, "Even when we know there will be no results, we must try."

The comments may suggest that al-Assad is continuing attempts to improve his relations with other countries, as he has recently done with several of the region’s Arab states.

Syria’s decade-long isolation is the result of his government’s brutal crackdown on internal dissent in 2011, an action that eventually resulted in a civil war that has claimed the lives of over 600,000 people.

The multi-participant conflict has seen Tehran and Moscow support the al-Assad regime, while the United States has led the opposition to Islamic State forces in the country.

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