U.S. special envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, claimed that that Washington is not working anymore to change the regime in Syria. However, the diplomat stressed the need for a political process in the war torn country.
“We are committed to a political process that is with and by the Syrian people. The Syrian people get to decide who will lead them and what kind of a government they will have. We are not committed to any kind of regime change. We are committed to a change in the behavior of that regime,” Jeffrey said during an interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti and the Kommersant newspaper, according to the news outlet, Sputnik.
Jeffery also denied that the U.S. has any plan to divide Syria and claimed that Washington has always supported the territorial integrity of the country.
“The United States has supported the territorial integrity of Syria at every point in this conflict and before, and we will continue to do so. The presence of American forces carrying out anti-terrorist operations does not indicate any desire to break apart a country,” Jeffery said.
While the U.S. diplomat renewed his calls for an Iranian withdrawal from Syria, he openly admitted that Washington will not ease its sanctions on Tehran if it complies with this demand.
“The idea of a trade of Iranian withdrawal for American relief on sanctions on Iran to come up, that’s something that under no circumstances would we accept,” Jeffrey stressed.
These statements show a major shift in Washington’s policy towards Syria. However, the U.S. is clearly still determined to use the war there to pressure Iran.