US envoy in Syria for peace talks
US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has arrived in Damascus and is due to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad, BBC reported.
Mr Mitchell has said Syria plays a key role in bringing peace to the region.
The US State Department says he will be looking at ways to promote peace talks between Syria and Israel.
Correspondents say the visit is not expected to bring a breakthrough, but Syrian officials are encouraged by Washington's new willingness to listen.
Several other high-ranking US officials will also be in the Middle East in the next few days.