Russia does not want to reach a political solution in Syria – US Special Representative for Syria Engagement

WASHINGTON, USA (North Press) – In a Monday press briefing, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey said that Russia did not want to reach a comprehensive solution in Syria and that this was the main reason for Assad remaining in power.

“Washington’s intention to continue the waves of sanctions targeting Assad, his military leaders and his mediators, who are stealing the Syrian people and continuing the military operations,” he told reporters.


Regarding UN Resolution 2254, which calls on the Syrian government to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, Jeffrey called for “the resolution of the conflict through a Constitutional Committee that exists to find a solution to the conflict by looking at constitutional changes in preparation for a nationwide election that would be monitored by the UN.”

Jeffrey said, “There [are] 50 members of the opposition, 50 members of the pro-regime element, and 50 people who are considered civil society and basically neutral, who will be trying to work together under the auspices of Geir Pedersen.”

“I would just note that the Syrian government is, in fact, after much pressure from Russia and other countries and the UN, participating in the conference next week,” he added.


Jeffrey said they were continuing to roll out Caesar Act sanctions with the extraordinarily strong support from the U.S. Congress and the White House to continue to pressure the Assad government to make a strategic shift from its goal of a military solution.

“The whole purpose of the sanctions is to do two things. First, to pressure the Syrian government to stop certain activities against the Syrian people such as besieging them, bombing them from the air, denying them their ability to return to their homes. Secondly, to advance the political process,” he said.

He added that those were their primary tools in trying to put pressure on the Syrian government to make the strategic shift from a military option to a political settlement under the UN.

He added that they noticed last week that Assad did talk at some length about the political process in a way that never had been seen often before.

Jeffrey said, “I can assure you we have every intention of continuing…waves of sanctions targeting Assad, his military leaders, his facilitators, the oligarchs who steal from the Syrian people and continue those operations. This is an extremely important part of our policy and we have every intention of continuing it.”

He added that they were very satisfied with the enduring and tireless efforts of the UN, led by Geir Pedersen, to implement UN Resolution 2254, the Constitutional Committee, and other measures, including a ceasefire.

“We are very happy with the opposition negotiating group that is participating in the Constitutional Committee.  They have been flexible, they have been willing to meet to make compromises, and we’re very happy with them,” Jeffrey said of the opposition.  

On the other hand, Jeffrey added that the US was “very unhappy with the Assad regime’s response to it. We see a glimmer of hope in the fact that they’re moving forward next week to at least meet.”

Jeffrey added there was no doubt that without Russian efforts, they wouldn’t have seen the Assad regime agree to the Constitutional Committee meeting next week, and they had seen flexibility of this sort on the part of the Russians before.

(Reporting by Mohammed Khier Ahmed)