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Monday, July 9, 2012

Annan, Assad in talks amid Syria's military drills for foreign invasion

(CNN) -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was in Syria for talks Monday with embattled President Bashar al-Assad, the first meeting between the two since the collapse of a peace plan to end nearly 16 months of bloodshed that has left thousands dead.

The news of the talks came as state-run media reported that Syria's military began conducting live-fire training exercises that simulate a defense against foreign attacks, while al-Assad's regime and the opposition traded new allegations of violence.

Annan, the United Nations and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, arrived in Damascus on Sunday ahead of the one-day talks, said his spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi.

The spokesman did not release details of the talks, though they follow a recent admission by Annan that a six-point peace plan that he brokered in March had collapsed. The plan called for an immediate end to the violence by al-Assad's forces and rebels, access to humanitarian groups and an inclusive political dialogue. Read More