The U.S. envoy for Syria says top U.S. and Russian diplomats have discussed the step-by-step implementation of a 2012 roadmap to UN-supervised elections in the war-torn country that could allow a Syrian government "to move back into the international community."

Ambassador James Jeffrey's comments indicate a new U.S.-Russian engagement on efforts to end the eight-year Syrian war.

But Jeffrey cautioned that "this is just a potential way forward" because there have been no steps such as a cease-fire in the last rebel-held stronghold in Idlib or the convening of a committee to draft a new constitution for Syria

Jeffrey told reporters after a closed Security Council meeting Wednesday that such steps "would give us confidence that the Assad regime actually understands what it must do to help end this conflict."