The European Union's foreign policy chief has held a rare meeting with a top Syrian official to help achieve a political transition in the country where the Islamic State group holds vast territory.

Federica Mogherini said she only discussed "support to the U.N.-led process" aimed at ending the Syrian war in the meeting with Bashar Ja'afari in Geneva. The war has led to a refugee crisis in Europe and given an opening to IS.

Mogherini said Wednesday "not all exchanges were consensual" and said she didn't discuss the terrorism fight or a possible end to EU sanctions against Syrian officials.

She declined to reiterate the EU's previous insistence that President Bashar Assad leave power, but said its policy had not changed.