Ankara Rejects Kurdish PYD Presence in Syria Peace Talks

Ankara Rejects Kurdish PYD Presence in Syria Peace Talks
Tue Jan 26, 2016 17:48:41

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has voiced Ankara’s strong opposition to the participation of the Syrian Kurdish group Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the upcoming UN-backed talks to end the crisis in Syria.

He told ruling party lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday that Turkey is “categorically” against the PYD and its military wing the People's Protection Units (YPG) “sitting at the table.”

Ankara accuses the PYD and YPG of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

The Turkish premier, however, said that the presence of Syrian Kurdish representatives in the negotiations is a “necessity,” without naming any other Syrian Kurdish groups he would like to see involved in the talks.

Describing the PYD “a terrorist organization,” Davutoglu said the group “joining the ranks of the opposition during the talks is unacceptable from our viewpoint."

The comments come as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday called for the participation of Kurds in the peace talks scheduled for January 29 and insisted that the meeting would not be successful if Kurdish representatives are not invited.

Over the past several months, Moscow has moved to renew its ties with Kurdish groups and had held talks with PYD leader Salih Muslim, a step that has raised Ankara’s concerns.

The UN Security Council on December 18 adopted a resolution, calling for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and the formation of a “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian” government within six months.

The Syrian conflict began in 2011, has reportedly claimed the lives more than 260,000 people, and displaced almost eight million others, Press TV reported.


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