Syrian Leader Assad says Syria is Open to Dialogue with the U.S. - "60 Minutes" Sunday

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26 March 2015
60 Minutes
Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad/Photo Courtesy of CBS News
"60 Minutes"
Sunday, March 29 at 7:00 PM, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network

 
            Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad is open to a dialogue with America, but says his country has had no direct contact with the U.S. since its Secretary of State John Kerry expressed a willingness to negotiate peace in the civil-war torn country.  Assad sat down with Charlie Rose earlier today (March 26) in Damascus, Syria, for an interview to be broadcast on "60 Minutes," Sunday, March 29 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
 
            Additional excerpts will be broadcast March 27 on "CBS This Morning" (7:00-9:00 AM).  The interview in its entirety will then be shown on “Charlie Rose” on PBS television stations Monday, March 30.
 
            A transcript of the "CBS Evening News," courtesy of "60 Minutes," excerpt follows:
 
ANCHOR :
THE BRUTAL CIVIL WAR THERE BEGAN FOUR YEARS AGO.    LAST WEEK, SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY TOLD OUR MARGARET BRENNAN THE U.S. IS OPEN TO NEGOTIATING WITH SYRIA'S DICTATOR BASHAR AL-ASSAD TO END THE WAR.   TODAY, ASSAD SPOKE ABOUT THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE ROSE FOR "60 Minutes."

VTR:
ASSAD: If you want to mention the statement of Kerry regarding the dialogue, I would say what we have in Syria so far is only a statement, nothing concrete yet, no facts, no new reality regarding the political approach of the United States toward our situation, our problem, our conflict in Syria. But as principal, 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.
 
ROSE: What kind of communication is there between your government and the American government?
 
ASSAD: There’s no direct communication.
 
ROSE: None at all?
 
ASSAD: None at all. Nothing yet. That’s why the United States…
 
ROSE: Nothing yet?
 
ASSAD: Nothing yet. Till this moment? No. Nothing.
 
ROSE: Would you like to have that happen?
 
ASSAD: Any dialogue is positive, as I said, in principal, of course, without pressuring the sovereignty of Syria.

 
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