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June 29, 2017

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Kofi Annan agrees to put new 'approach' to rebels

DAMASCUS--International envoy Kofi Annan said he agreed with President Bashar al-Assad on Monday on a new political "approach" to end Syria's 16-month-old conflict that he would put to the rebels.

Stepping up efforts to halt the carnage which monitors say has cost more than 17,000 lives, the UN-Arab League envoy was reportedly to travel on to Iran, Syria's close ally.

"We discussed the need to end the violence and ways and means of doing so. We agreed an approach which I will share with the armed opposition," Annan said after meeting Assad in Damascus.

The former UN chief said he had a "constructive" meeting with Assad, on his third such mission for talks on his six-point peace plan for Syria since he was appointed in February.

"I had constructive and candid talks with President Assad," he told reporters at a Damascus hotel, echoing Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi who termed the meeting "constructive and good."

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