- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

LONDON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Syria’s moderate opposition officials are still weighing whether to enter negotiations with President Bashar Assad to create a new government and end the nation’s bloody civil war.

Kerry spoke after meeting Tuesday with opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba, and said he was hopeful that negotiations could begin as early as next month.

But Kerry said al-Jarba’s coalition would decide within the week whether it was ready to meet with Assad’s government on ways to move forward after 2½ years of war that has killed more than 100,000.

Both Kerry and al-Jarba were in London meeting with diplomats from 11 Western and Mideast nations who are trying to reach a settlement.

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