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Jackson meets Assad, is hopeful of pilot's release

Democratic presidential hopeful Jesse Jackson met Syrian President Hafez Assad here Monday and said later his bid to free captured US pilot Robert Goodman was at a ''very sensitive'' stage.

Jackson, who met with Assad for 90 minutes, declined to answer questions, but said he hoped to hear soon from the Syrian government on prospects for Goodman's release. A Syrian presidential spokesman said the Syrian leadership would discuss the matter with ''concern.'' Jackson was allowed to meet with the captured flier for one hour on Saturday.

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