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Syrian FM praises Kurdish role against ISIS ahead of Geneva talks

By Rudaw 13/3/2016
Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muaalim Photo: AP
Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muaalim Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid Muaalim, on Saturday described ISIS as “the common threat” against what he called “all the Syrian people” and praised Kurds for their opposition to the Jihadi groups.
“Kurds are citizens of Syria and we are in the same ditch together against the ISIS as we try to rebuild the country,” Muaalim told a group of reporters in Damascus two days before the third round of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on the future of Syria set for Monday, March 14.
Nearly 30 percent of Syria’s one million Kurdish population were stripped of their Syrian citizenship in the 1962 controversial census which declared them as ‘ajanib’ or foreigners. In April 2011, just weeks after the Syrian uprising, President Bashar Assad signed a decree to grant the ajanib citizenship, especially in Hasaka area.
Muaalim’s direct reference to Kurds as Syrian citizens came shortly after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call on UN to include Kurds in Monday’s talks, something Turkey was effectively able to block, as the talks will go ahead without representatives from the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Earlier on Saturday the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura voiced concern over the absence of Kurdish delegation in Geneva’s peace talks.
Quoted by the Swiss newspaper Le Temps the top UN envoy said Kurds had a right to express their views over Syria’s future.
“The Syrian Kurds are an important component of the country, so we need to find a formula in which they are able to express an opinion on the constitution and governance of the country,” he told the paper.
Turkey with a significant influence among Syria’s Free Army and Sunni opposition groups, warned it would disrupt the talks if the PYD was invited to Geneva meeting, Russian news agency TASS quoted Russia’s representative to the UN, Alexey Borodavkin on Saturday.
Ankara’s policy regarding the PYD shifted radically during 2015, as the Kurds increasingly distanced themselves from groups fighting Assad’s army and instead directed their arms solely against ISIS.
Ankara views PYD as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Syria although PYD leadership have frequently been invited to Turkey since 2011.
Both Russia and the US have shown support for the PYD with Washington rejecting Turkey’s call to put the Kurdish group in its black list.  
The ceasefire in Syria which was declared on February 27 will continue through the peace talks in Geneva.


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Reality | 13/3/2016
Accept Kurdish state stretching north syria and we good boi.
Muraz Adzhoev | 13/3/2016
There are no countries at least formally against participation of a true Kurdish national delegation in peace talks on Syria's future. The problem is PYD that is not and can be not considered as a political organization authorized by the majority of the people to represent Western Kurdistan's interests during the negotiations. It seems that the Syrian regime and PYD have concluded a "mutually advatageous deal" to provide restoration of united and reintegrated Syria, - a "new" Syria which is to include some "international atonomous cantons" under the leadership of PYD-PKK. As far as a Kurdish national delegations is not supposed to be invited to participate in negotiations, then it means nothing but preliminary recognition of the right of the Kurdish people to declare self-determined independence of territorially reintegrated Western Kurdistan from deadly failed Syria, and also to reintegrate with Southern Kurdistan independent from deadly failed Iraq.
No surprise | 13/3/2016
nothing is new, we already klnew that YGP and PKK are slaves of ayatolahs and assad regime
American | 13/3/2016
The YPG has to be really stupid to accept this half-assed love letter from Assad. It took the Syrian Revolution in 2011 to get their citizenship back, and 5 years later they're treated like royalty. Doesn't that sound strange to you?
Briant | 13/3/2016
It's time these idiots woke up !!!!. The only people With any sanity in the Middle East are the Kurds. Having a Kurdish state stretching the boarders of turkey and Iraq would effectively create a buffer zone keeping those opposing religious Zealites from killing each other....

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