Jul 9 - United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan holds talks in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Travis Brecher reports.
Syrian state television airs footage of United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Monday. Speaking with reporters at his Damascus hotel after the meeting, Annan described the conversation as constructive. Meanwhile, Syria's foreign ministry spokesman said via twitter that Syria's government had reassured Annan of their commitment to his peace plan. Within hours of meeting Assad, Annan was due to head to Iran for talks with Syria's main ally in the region. While Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent, major Western and Arab powers have foresworn direct military action. According to opposition leaders and Western powers, at least 15,000 people have been killed in the country in violence over the past 16 months. Travis Brecher, Reuters