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Biden, in Munich, Holds Syria-related Meetings

From a White House News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2013 – Vice President Joe Biden, attending the Munich Security conference, today met with United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi on the conference’s margins.

Biden thanked Brahimi for his steadfast work to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria and pledged that the United States would continue to support his efforts, officials said. The vice president and Brahimi discussed the dire humanitarian situation inside Syria and the regional implications of the crisis, officials said.

Biden also met separately on the margins of the conference with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Moaz al-Khatib. The vice president praised al-Khatib’s personal courage and leadership of the coalition, the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, officials said.

Biden urged al-Khatib to continue his efforts to maintain unity among the coalition’s leadership, officials said, and to isolate extremist elements within the broader opposition. The vice president also encouraged the coalition president to reach out to, and be inclusive of, a broad range of communities inside Syria, including Alawites, Christians and Kurds.

Officials said during the meeting, Biden reaffirmed the U.S. call for an end to the Assad regime and a transition that leads to a peaceful, inclusive and democratic Syria, where the rights of all Syrians are protected. The vice president also commended al-Khatib’s recent statements, including in Munich, expressing openness, under certain circumstances, to the possibility of negotiations to bring the Syrian people the leadership they deserve, officials said. 

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