U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is set to meet with Syrian opposition leader Mouaz Al-Khatib during a European trip in coming days and will discuss U.S. concerns about the Syrian conflict with Russia as well, White House officials said on Thursday.
It would be the highest-level U.S. meeting with the Syrian opposition, which is fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in a 22-month-old war that has killed more than 60,000 people and forced more than 700,000 to flee Syria, according to the United Nations.
Biden is due to meet khatib on Saturday in Munich on the margins of a security conference, where the U.S. vice president is also due to deliver a speech, the officials said.
“The position of the United States is focused on supporting an end to the Assad regime, which is why we have a significant amount of pressure applied on the Assad regime through sanctions and other means, while at the same time we’re working to bolster a Syrian Opposition Council that we recognize as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” Ben Rhodes, U.S. deputy national security adviser, said in a conference call with reporters.
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