Syria peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 2016. Photo: AP
NEW YORK—As the United Nations special envoy for Syria plans to resume the country’s peace talks in the coming weeks, Russia believes that the talks must reflect Syria’s different political and ethnic groups including the Kurds whom he says have been barred from the talks under pressure from Turkey.
“The important thing is ensuring the broad representative nature of Syrian opposition including Kurds from Party of Democratic Union,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said this week. “This is openly obstacled by Turkey.”
Churkin called Ankara’s policy towards Syrian Kurds and the peace talks “selfish and destructive” and urged the European Union to resolve this issue by bearing pressure on Turkey.
The Russian ambassador stressed his call at a gathering of UN-EU officials earlier this week where he said the Kurds must be included in the Syria peace talks, as quoted by Sputnik news, “We expect our European partners to use their influence to resolve this and other urgent issues related to Ankara’s egotistic and destructive policy towards Syria,”
The UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura is planning the resumption of the Syria peace talks without setting a date. His renewed efforts for the resumption of peace talks indicate a recent increase in violence in Syria and reports of violation of the ceasefire.
De Mistura, briefed the UN Security Council this week, according to AP, where he "reiterated the need to see progress on the ground — particularly in reference to the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access,”
A statement from de Mistura’s office said, “He briefed on his intention to start the next round of talks as soon as feasible but certainly not within the next two/three weeks,”
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of EU for Foreign & Security Policy believes that the condition on the ground has to be prepared once again for new peace talks and that the UN and EU are working to bear pressure on all parties to contribute to the cessation of hostilities and participation in the upcoming talks.
“Today the main issue is to create the condition on the ground that would allow Staffan de Mistura to re-convey the parties for serious meaningful talks in Geneva on the transition in Damascus,” Mogherini told Rudaw. “This is what we are putting pressure about and this is what we are trying to do, supporting the UN-led process; using our leverage, our influence, our encouragement, I would like to say with all different parties.”