U.S. special representative for Syria James Jeffrey had talks in Ankara during a meeting for a joint working group on Syria, a few days after he suggested the U.S. wanted the Astana process — the three-way negotiations between Turkey, Russia and Iran — to be brought to an end.
On Dec. 3 Jeffrey suggested ending the Astana talks on the future of the country, promoting the U.N.-led Geneva talks. “The U.S. view is let’s pull the plug on Astana,” the envoy said at a briefing in Washington, claiming that the Astana parties — Russia, Turkey, and Iran — have failed to advance efforts for a Syria constitutional committee at a meeting last week.
The meeting is part of a mechanism established between Ankara and Washington for discussions on problematic issues between Washington and Ankara in Syria, such as the presence of the Kurdish YPG militant group, and for further cooperation in Syria.
Jeffrey said the United States would propose ending the competitor to the Geneva talks when U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura departs his seat at the end of the year.
The working group on Syria will hold their next meeting in Washington by February of next year, the US Embassy in Turkey announced in a press release on Friday following the meeting of the group in Ankara.
"They decided to convene the next High-Level Working Group on Syria meeting in Washington, D.C. no later than February 2019," the release said.