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Evening Update: Pakistani Government officials say militants in Pakistan's Swat Valley have agreed to a "permanent cease-fire".
Afternoon Update: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met Chinese leaders in Beijing, stating, ""It is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship." Clinton also put priorities in order: while she had discussed human rights matters with President Hu Jintao, "Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises."
Morning Update (8:30 a.m. GMT; 3:30 a.m. Washington): In a step that was foreshadowed by Syrian President Bashir al-Assad (pictured) in his interview with The Guardian of London, the US will resume direct talks with Damascus this week. The State Department's Acting Assistant Secretary for the Near East, Jeffrey Feltman, has requested a meeting with the Syrian Ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha.
State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said, "The meeting is an opportunity for dialogue to discuss our concerns with the Syrians," Duguid said. "There remain key differences between our governments."
Three NATO coalition soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device on Friday in Uruzgan province in Afghanistan.