1. Impasse

    Assad Plays 'Terrorists' Card

    Image #: 17221893    epa03139207 A handout picture released by Syrian Arab News Agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad (R) meeting with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan (L) at Syrian presidential palace in Damascus Syrian 10 March 2012. Annan arrives in Damascus on 10 March and is expected to call for talks between the government and the opposition in a bid to end the year-long violence.  EPA/SANA HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES /LANDOV

    SANA / Landov

    U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday in Damascus in an effort to get the Syrian regime to end its yearlong crackdown on dissidents. But Assad told Annan that dialogue with the opposition will not work when "armed terrorist groups" are operating. On the other end, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council has already turned down Annan's request for talks with Assad, similarly saying that negotiations with a "murderous" government are pointless. But a member of the opposition is due to meet Annan in the afternoon. Activists say at least 12 people were killed today as government forces continued attacks across the country, including in the northern province of Idlib.

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