n Sunday, Syrian opposition figures publicly called for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad at a rare meeting that "was tolerated by the regime in an apparent attempt to lend credibility to its claims that it remains open to political reform despite its bloody crackdown on dissent." Also in attendance: Assad allies Iran, Russia, and China. Still, the meeting will probably "be viewed as a cosmetic gesture by Syrian rebels and their many backers in the international community."
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