Syria fires deputy PM for meeting U.S. officials sans authority

Washington, Oct. 30 (ANI): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sacked a deputy prime minister who met Western officials to discuss the possibility of holding a peace conference.

The decree was the latest blow to diplomatic efforts to bring Syria's warring parties to the negotiating table.

According to CBS News, deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil was fired after a weekend meeting in Geneva that Washington says was with its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford.

Syria sacked Jamil for holding talks without the permission of the Assad regime.

A US official said that the meeting held on October 26 was to discuss the possibility of holding a conference next month, also in Geneva, to negotiate a settlement to Syria's conflict.

Three days later, Assad issued a decree relieving Jamil of his duties for 'undertaking activities and meetings outside the homeland without coordination with the government'.

Jamil told Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV that he also met with a Russian diplomat and U.N. officials. (ANI)

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