U.S. to send two senior officials to Damascus
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus said a senior American diplomat will visit Syria soon in a bid to improve relations between the two countries. According to the AP, an Embassy spokeswoman conveyed the upcoming visit by Jeffrey Feltman — the State Department's top diplomat for the Middle East — aims to build on his meeting last month with the Syrian ambassador in Washington.
Katherine Vandevate said the visit seeks to advance the Obama administration's goals of resolving "our key differences with Syria and pursuing our shared objectives."
On her part, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday confirmed the news. "There are a number of issues that we have between Syria and the United States, as well as the larger regional issues that Syria obviously poses," she said.
According to her, the officials -- a representative from the White House and one from the State Department -- would explore "some of these bilateral issues." "We have no way to predict what the future with our relations concerning Syria might be," she said.
"We don't engage in discussions for the sake of having a conversation. There has to be a purpose to them, there has to be some perceived benefit."
Clinton noted that members of the U.S. Congress have visited Damascus in recent weeks and months.
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