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WASHINGTON, March 27. /TASS/. Syrian President Bashar Assad told the CBS TV on Thursday that Syria was ready to engage in a dialogue with anyone, including the United States. He also said that any dialogue is itself a positive factor, and the conversation should be based on mutual respect principles, not pressure.
"In Syria we could say that every dialogue is a positive thing, and we are going to be open to any dialogue with anyone, including the United States, regarding anything based on mutual respect." While saying there had been no direct communication between Damascus and Washington, Assad, who has been fighting Islamist and other rebels since 2011, added: "Any dialogue is positive, as I said, in principal, of course, without pressuring the sovereignty of Syria."
Previously, US Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview to CBS television admitted that the United States would eventually have to negotiate with Assad, but then a White House spokesman denied the US willingness to negotiate with the current Syrian leader, referring to the fact that the words of the US state secretary were misinterpreted.