BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The Special Envoy of the United States to Syria, Ambassador James Jeffrey, said on Monday, that his country is not asking Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down, but rather wants him to “change his behavior.”

According to reports, Jeffrey said that the United States does not insist on the immediate resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or the withdrawal of Russia from the Arab Republic.

“We are not saying that Assad should leave, we are saying that Assad and his government should change their behavior, ” Jeffrey said during an online conference at the Middle East Institute .

He added that the United States wants to “return to the status of 2011”, that is, when there were no Russian and Iranian forces in Syria, stressing that despite the fact that the United States has always opposed Russia’s presence in Syria, “it is not our policy to try to persuade them to leave.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs David Schenker announced earlier in June that Russia should “exit the Middle East” because it plays a “destructive role” there.

Previously, the administration of President Barack Obama called on  the immediate resignation of the Syrian President, with some in his cabinet even stating that his “days are numbered.”

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