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U.N. envoy worried after talks with Syria’s Assad

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 24, 2012 at 6:46 a.m.

The international envoy tasked with pushing to end Syria’s civil war said after talks with President Bashar Assad on Monday that the situation is still “worrying” and gave no indication of progress toward a negotiated solution to the conflict.

In brief comments to reporters after meeting the Syrian leader at the presidential palace in Damascus, Lakhdar Brahimi said he and Assad exchanged views on the crisis and discussed possible steps forward, which he did not disclose.

“The situation in Syria is still worrying and we hope that all the parties will go toward the solution that the Syrian people are hoping for and look forward to,” Brahimi said.

Syria’s state news agency quoted Assad as saying his government supports “any effort in the interest of the Syrian people which preserves the homeland’s sovereignty and independence.”

The two met after a government airstrike in a rebel-held town in central Syria killed more than 60 people Sunday, according to activists.

Brahimi has apparently made little progress toward brokering an end to the conflict since starting his job in September, mostly because both sides adamantly refuse to talk to each other.

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