QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – A Russian official on Tuesday said excluding the Syrian Kurds from the next round of Russia-initiated Astana peace talks to end the Syrian war would fail.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, Senator Ziyad Sabsabi, a member of the Russian Federation Council, said the presence of Kurds in any Syrian talks is a prerequisite for ending the war.
“Excluding the Kurds in any international talk or conference on Syria would not [produce] fruitful results,” he said. “No result for uniting Syrian groups will be reached.”
Turkey, along with the Syrian regime’s two primary military backers Iran and Russia, is one of the sponsors of the Astana talks in Kazakhstan where it acts as a guarantor for Islamist rebel groups fighting to topple the Syrian government.
In the previous talks held in Kazakhstan’s capital, the only Syrian Kurdish faction invited was the Kurdish National Council (ENKS), an umbrella body based in Erbil, made up of smaller Syrian Kurdish political parties.
On the other hand, the Syrian Kurdish groups YPG, PYD, and TEV-DEM—which control large areas of northern Syria—were excluded from last year’s peace talks in Switzerland as well.
Syrian peace discussions held in 2016 known as “Geneva III” also excluded the main Kurdish groups in line with Turkey’s wishes.
PYD officials said their exclusion was a result of the Turkish intervention in the Syrian conflict.
In a previous interview with Kurdistan 24, Salih Muslim, the ex-leader of the PYD, said, “Turkey’s only concern in Syria is the Kurds, and not solving the dilemma in the country.”
“This intervention for selfish purposes hinders any effort to find a solution to the crisis,” he continued.
Muslim stated that Turkey tries to stir nationalist and anti-Kurdish sentiments among the factions of the Syrian society.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Kurdistan 24 correspondent Ekrem Salih conducted the interview in Qamishlo)