Eyeing Syria, White House woos regional rulers

By By LARA JAKES and JOSH LEDERMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will meet over the next month with four Mideast leaders. The meetings are a timely opportunity to rally the Syrian opposition's main backers around a unified strategy to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The leaders of Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will meet separately with Obama starting April 16.

Infighting among opposition groups and their failure to agree on a new government has helped Assad cling to power two years into a civil war that has left at least 70,000 dead.

Officials are increasingly worried about Syria might look like if the regime falls before opposition groups can agree on a government.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday said Syria will be among the priorities discussed with the leaders.

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