Document:Pictures resurface showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria together

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Kerry Assad.jpg
Dining in Damascus (February 2009)
John Kerry's volte-face: Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region (2009). President Assad is a "thug" like Adolf Hitler (2013).

Disclaimer (#3)Document.png Article  by Heather Saul dated 3 September 2013
Subjects: John Kerry, Teresa Heinz, Bashar al-Assad, Asma al-Assad, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack, Khan Sheikhoun, Donald Trump
Source: The Independent (Link)

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Pictures have re-emerged showing the US Secretary of State John Kerry dining with President Bashar al-Assad, as Mr Kerry continued to push for a military strike on Syria following a suspected chemical attack.

The images, believed to have been captured in Damascus in February 2009, come in stark contrast to comments Mr Kerry recently made about the Syrian president, describing him as a "thug" and drawing comparisons between Mr Assad and Adolf Hitler over their use of chemical weapons.

Mr Kerry was visiting the region when he was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He met with Mr Assad at least six times, according to the Daily Telegraph.

During the visit, he said in a press conference:

“President Barack Obama's administration considers Syria a key player in Washington's efforts to revive the stalled Middle East peace process. Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region."

The restaurant pictured is understood to be situated in Damascus' Old Town, where Mr Kerry and Mr Assad were joined by their wives Teresa Heinz and Asma al-Assad, the First Lady of Syria.

Mr Kerry was also reportedly a strong supporter of the decision made by the US government to send an ambassador to Damascus in January 2011.