U.S. denies it sought direct negotiations with Syria in Geneva

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WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Washington denied claims by Syria's foreign minister on Saturday that American diplomats had sought to negotiate directly with their Syrian counterparts at last week's 'Geneva 2' peace conference in Switzerland. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States had offered to connect with Syrian officials "on a staff level" through the United Nations and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi.