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Moscow Intensifies Dialogue with Kurds to Push for Deal with Damascus

Moscow Intensifies Dialogue with Kurds to Push for Deal with Damascus

Thursday, 28 November, 2019 - 09:15
Vehicles travel along a road in Raqqa, Syria October 20, 2019 in this still image taken from video. Video taken October 20, 2019. Syrian TV via REUTERS

Moscow is moving to persuade Syria’s Kurds to expand dialogue with Damascus and respond to the demand for the Syrian Democratic Forces to integrate with the Syrian army.


Russian media reported that a military delegation held a closed-door meeting in the city of Ain al-Arab (Kobani) on Tuesday with the leadership of the Kurdish self-administration in the Euphrates region.


The Russian Defense Ministry did not give details of the meeting, but Kurdish sources said that the Russian delegation was headed by Lieutenant General Alexei Kim.

It added that discussions focused on services to the region.


Mohammed Shaheen, deputy chairman of the Euphrates region’s executive board, said after the meeting that the talks with the Russian delegation touched on “the role of Russian forces in the area, the difficult humanitarian situation after the Turkish invasion, and a joint organizational mechanism between the self-administration and the Russian government to preserve the security, safety and stability.”


“One of the main points of discussion is Turkey’s violations of the Sochi Agreement, despite the commitment of the SDF to it,” he said, adding that the Russian delegation made promises that the Turkish attacks would stop in the next few days.


The Russian military official did not talk about Turkey’s violations, but only pointed out that the meeting aimed to discuss a “solution to social problems and the provision of services and medical and humanitarian assistance.”


Kim described the meeting as fruitful. He stressed that Russia would be the guarantor of the security of this region and Syria as a whole, and would exert all efforts to achieve peace, security and prosperity in these territories.


Asked about the possibility of a resumption of the Turkish attack on the region, he said: “Russia is doing its best to ward off this scenario and to allow the people of the region to live freely.”


Moscow has recently stepped up its rhetoric towards the Kurds, and stressed that it was working to push them towards an understanding with Damascus, and the integration of the Syrian Democratic Forces with the Syrian army.


On a different note, the Russian President’s special envoy to the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, held talks with the delegation of the Syrian Baath Party, currently visiting Russia at the invitation of the United Russia party.

Bogdanov stressed during the meeting “Russia’s support for the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”


According to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, “during a comprehensive exchange of views on the development of the situation in and around Syria, special attention was paid to the elimination of terrorism on Syrian territory, the problem of restoring the social and economic infrastructure in the country and creating conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons.”

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