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Senior State Department official to meet Syrian ambassador

Jeffrey Feltman, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, is scheduled to meet Syrian ambassador to Washington Imad Mustafa tomorrow morning, the State Department announced. "There remain key differences between our two governments, including our concerns about Syria’s support to terrorist groups and networks, Syria’s acquisition of nuclear and non-conventional weaponry, interference ...

Jeffrey Feltman, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, is scheduled to meet Syrian ambassador to Washington Imad Mustafa tomorrow morning, the State Department announced.

Jeffrey Feltman, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, is scheduled to meet Syrian ambassador to Washington Imad Mustafa tomorrow morning, the State Department announced.

"There remain key differences between our two governments, including our concerns about Syria’s support to terrorist groups and networks, Syria’s acquisition of nuclear and non-conventional weaponry, interference in Lebanon and worsening human rights situation," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said at a press briefing today. "This meeting is an opportunity to use dialogue to discuss these concerns."

During the congressional recess last week, the chairmen of the Senate and House Foreign Affairs committees Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) traveled to Damascus for separate meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Kerry "believes it’s important to impress on the Syrians how they can play a constructive role in the region if they change their behavior," Senate Foreign Relations Committee spokesman Frederick Jones said, adding that Kerry believes the United States should return a U.S. ambassador to Damascus.

Laura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.

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