FILE - This April 1, 2010 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad meeting with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Barack Obama's choice to become the next secretary of state, at al-Shaab presidential palace in Damascus, Syria. Kerry's past words of encouragement for Syrian President Bashar Assad are certain to draw scrutiny at his confirmation hearing for secretary of State as the Mideast ruler's brutal crackdown has plunged the country into months of deadly civil war and turned Assad into a pariah. (AP Photo/SANA, File) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **

Associated Press
FILE - This April 1, 2010 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad meeting with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Barack Obama's choice to become the next secretary of state, at al-Shaab presidential palace in Damascus, Syria. Kerry's past words of encouragement for Syrian President Bashar Assad are certain to draw scrutiny at his confirmation hearing for secretary of State as the Mideast ruler's brutal crackdown has plunged the country into months of deadly civil war and turned Assad into a pariah.  (AP Photo/SANA, File) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
FILE - This April 1, 2010 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad meeting with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Barack Obama's choice to become the next secretary of state, at al-Shaab presidential palace in Damascus, Syria. Kerry's past words of encouragement for Syrian President Bashar Assad are certain to draw scrutiny at his confirmation hearing for secretary of State as the Mideast ruler's brutal crackdown has plunged the country into months of deadly civil war and turned Assad into a pariah. (AP Photo/SANA, File) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
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