Syria's Assad says he is 'open' to dialogue with the United States

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BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad says he would be "open" to a dialogue with the United States, but that it must be "based on mutual respect."

Assad made the remarks in an interview with Charlie Rose for CBS News' 60 Minutes. A short excerpt of the interview was posted online late Thursday.

In the clip, Assad says that in principle "every dialogue is a positive thing, and we are going to be open to any dialogue with anyone, including the United States." He says there is no direct communication so far with Washington.

Assad's comments come after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this month that the U.S. must eventually talk with the Syrian government to help broker an end to the country's civil war.

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