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 .

 

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly

Bashir calls on Darfur displaced to return

Saudi Aramco could release accounts in early 2018

Saudi-led coalition says rebels hindering Yemen food imports

Jihadist activity prompts regime, Russian air strikes in Syria safe zone

Two prominent rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Israel shoots down Hezbollah drone over Golan Heights

Iraqi forces launch assault on IS in western Anbar province

Families of the missing, the forgotten victims of war in Lebanon

25 killed in South Sudan clashes

Suicide attack on Iraq restaurant kills three