First Published: 2017-02-15

PYD says Syria negotiations won't work unless Kurds present
Co-chair of Kurdish Democratic Union Party says Turkey could undermine Syria peace, Kurds ready to participate at UN-sponsored talks in Geneva but have not yet been invited
Middle East Online

Abdullah said 'everyone must take part' to resolve Syria's crisis

MOSCOW - Syria peace talks set for next week in Geneva will be a failure unless the Kurds are at the table, a representative of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) said on Wednesday.

"It's clear that if we want to resolve the Syrian crisis, everyone must take part," said party co-chair Asya Abdullah, after a conference in Moscow involving Kurdish representatives from Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

"Any decisions taken without us are ones we will not be required to abide by," she added, speaking in Kurdish through a Russian translator. "But then, resolving the Syrian crisis will be impossible."

The Geneva meeting, set for February 23 under the auspices of the United Nations, is expected to focus on the political future of Syria, where more than 310,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011.

Already having been delayed by several days, the talks are mired in disagreements between stakeholders such as Turkey and the Kurdish party, whose armed wing YPG fights the Islamic State group in northern Syria as well as Ankara's forces.

The Kurds are ready to come to Geneva but have not yet been invited, said Abdullah, who added that Ankara could undermine the peace efforts.

"Where there is Turkey there cannot be any solution, because all of Turkey's efforts are directed towards keeping Kurds from gaining anything," she said.

The Kremlin stepped up support of the Kurds during its falling out with Ankara over the downing of a Russian military plane at the Syrian border in 2015.

While Moscow has made peace with Turkey and began cooperating with it over Syria, the Kurdish issue remains a source of friction with Ankara.

Talks brokered by Russia and Turkey involving Damascus and the opposition are also set to get underway in Kazakhstan on Thursday, but the Kurds have not been invited to those talks either .

 

Iraq investigates Mosul civilian deaths

Iran to symbolically sanction 15 US companies

Syria fighting damages IS-held dam posing rising water risk

Yemeni rebel supporters flood streets on conflict’s anniversary

Cities, monuments dim lights for Earth Hour

In Algeria, everyone wants to be MP, few likely to vote

Iran to appeal seizure of 9/11 compensation money

Hamas shuts Gaza crossing after assassination of official

Deep concern as Israeli laws entrench the occupation

Turkey’s Kurds could sway tight referendum vote

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

US and allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Israel’s air strike on Syria spooks Middle East

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva