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US special envoy for Syria to visit Switzerland, Turkey

August 21, 2020 at 10:02 pm

US Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey arrives in Ankara, Turkey on February 11, 2020 [Mehmet Ali Özcan – Anadolu Agency]

US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey will pay a visit to Switzerland and Turkey to discuss latest efforts for the resolution of the Syrian conflict, the State Department said Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Jeffrey will start his nearly a-week-long travel to Geneva, Istanbul and Ankara on Saturday, the Office of the Spokesperson said in a statement.

“In Geneva, Ambassador Jeffrey will meet with counterparts in the international community, including UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, and others who are participating in the Constitutional Committee meetings on Syria that commence on August 24,” it said.

It added that the US “does not directly participate in” these UN-facilitated meetings aiming to reinvigorate the constitutional reform process in Syria. The focus of the ambassador’s meetings will be “to advance the UN’s efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Syria.”

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He will head to Istanbul on Aug. 26 to meet with Syrian opposition groups and other members of Syrian civil society to discuss Washington’s latest efforts in Syria, including US’ “maximum economic and political pressure campaign to hold the Assad regime accountable and end the suffering of the Syrian people.”

The next day he will gather with senior Turkish officials in Ankara to discuss the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 for the resolution of the Syrian conflict, efforts to defeat Daesh, and other bilateral cooperation related to the stability of Syria and the region.

Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed since and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures. Turkey hosts more than 4 million Syrians as the top refugee-hosting country in the world.