With the US seemingly gearing up for an open-ended military involvement in Syria, US envoy James Jeffrey looks to be trying to undercut any peace efforts, demanding that the world “pull the plug” on the Russia-led Astana talks.
The Astana talks involve Russia, Turkey, and Iran, and Jeffrey says the US opposes the “rather strange initiative” and wants it scrapped in favor of a new UN effort, presumably one which the US would be given a priority position in.
The US never supported the Astana process in the first place, and has demanded that the end of the Syrian War involve unconditional regime change. Russia has said they want the end state to be settled with a free election, which would include the possibility of existing officials running for office. The US says that can never be allowed.
There is no sign a new UN effort is happening anyhow to replace Astana, but that may also be part of the idea. With the rebellion all but defeated, the US seems determined to keep the war going, and scrap anything that might result in negotiations.
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