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Friday, 11 March 2016 15:19

Russia calls for Kurds’ participation in Syria talks

Russia calls for Kurds’ participation in Syria talks
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to invite minority Kurds to participate in the next round of Syria peace talks.

"I am convinced that Staffan de Mistura should take such a decision," Lavrov said at a joint news conference with his Chinese counterpart in Moscow on Friday, Press TV reported.

"Launching negotiations without the participation of this group would be a sign of weakness from the international community," said Lavrov.

He also warned that holding talks without Kurds would be "a most serious infringement of the rights of a large and significant group living in Syria."

Lavrov further said the Kurds are "allies both of the US coalition and Russia", criticizing Ankara for “blocking the invitation of Kurds from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).”

Turkey regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and PYD as allies of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

This comes as talks between Syrian government delegates and the Saudi-backed so-called opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), are set to resume in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 14.

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