Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN. Photo: AFP
NEW YORK — As a UN-brokered meeting about Syria starts today Russia says it has asked the UN envoy to invite the Kurds to the Geneva talks, adding that Turkey has threatened to disrupt the talks if the Kurds attend.
"They [Turkey] are threatening that they are going to make the talks impossible like blow up the whole situation if the Syrian Kurds are invited,” Russian ambassador to the UN Vitally Churkin told Rudaw.
Churkin added that however, that despite the objections Moscow has urged the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura to extend an invitation to the Kurds.
“We raised - as some other delegations - the need to involve the Syrian Kurds into the discussions,” he said, following a closed-door Security Council meeting on Syria.
The Russian ambassador said that the response from the UN about inviting the Kurds to the Geneva talks has been lukewarm.
“Mr. De Mistura did confirm that it was an important aspect, but unfortunately his response that was coming to us did not lead me to believe that he is going to invite them [the Kurds] today or tomorrow,” Churkin said.
Some Syrian Kurdish groups attended the earlier rounds of peace talks in Geneva, but the Democratic Union Party (PYD) which is supported in the war against ISIS by both Russia and the United States was barred from the talks. Mainly due to opposition from Ankara.