Russia: 'Syria peace talks to fail without Kurds'

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Syrian peace talks without Kurds will be incomplete.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Syrian peace talks without Kurds will be inadequate.

Answering a Kurdistan24 reporter during a press conference held in Moscow, Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that excluding the Syrian Kurds who effectively fight terrorism will not help reach any peaceful agreement in the peace talks held in Geneva.

"The Syrian peace talks being held in Geneva without the inclusion of the Kurds will be incomplete," she said.  

Zakharova pointed out that Syrian Kurds have proven to be very effective in ground counter-terrorism operations in Syria.

Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized two months ago that the Kurdish group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), plays an important role in fighting the Islamic State (IS) and is an essential part of political settlement in Syria.

"How can you talk about political reforms in Syria if you ignore a leading Kurdish party?" he questioned. 

"Lavrov warned that it would be a 'grave mistake' not to invite the PYD," the US-based AP news agency reported on Jan. 26.

Some reports suggest that the Syrian Kurds’ exclusion from the peace talks is a result of Turkey’s opposition to include any Kurdish forces. Turkey views the PYD and its YPG military group as branches of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish resistance group it has long fought.

PYD co-leader Salih Muslim reiterated that Syrian Kurds must be represented at peace talks in Geneva, or the talks will fail.

"If those parties who are effectively dealing with the Syrian issue are not at the table, it will be a repeat of what happened in Geneva 2," Muslim told Reuters two months ago, referring to failed negotiations in 2014.

It is worth mentioning that the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was not invited to the UN-brokered peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Geneva, which started on Jan. 29.



Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany