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Washington Wants Syria’s Kurds to Join Negotiations

Washington Wants Syria’s Kurds to Join Negotiations

Sunday, 29 October, 2017 - 07:15
File: A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber taking off from the Hmeimim air-base in the Syrian province of Latakia, October 3, 2015. (AFP/Komsomolskaya Pravda/Alexander Kots)

Washington informed the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Saturday about the need to include Kurds in the political negotiation, a request that would anger Ankara at a time when the Turkish foreign ministry advised the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) to positively deal with Russia’s Hmeimim summit on condition that it does not include the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

A western official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the next phase would be important to set the final dates of several summits, including the Astana meetings on Monday and Tuesday, the expanded Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh next Nov. 10, the Congress of Peoples of Syria at the Hmeimim air base on Nov. 18, in addition to the eighth round of the Geneva Syrian intra-talks next Nov. 28.

There are currently ongoing talks between Russian and Kurdish experts to set the principals of the Constitution and how much it was possible to accept transforming Syria into a “confederal state” alike the Russian example.

Meanwhile, the SNC was surprised on Saturday by the request of Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, who said it was important to “positively” deal with the Hmeimim Summit.

Also on Saturday, Syrian Democratic Forces units handed over the Menagh military air base north of Aleppo to the Russian army. According to the Hmeimim military base, the move aims to “cut off the road in the face of Turkey, which was preparing to attack the base.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted reliable sources as saying that the deployment of Russian forces at the Menagh airbase might expand to other border areas with Turkey, and it also aims to prevent the risk of fighting in the northern countryside of Aleppo between SDF units and Turkish forces.

An opposition source told the German news agency that “handing over the airport of Manegh to Russian forces today is temporary until the entry of a Syrian military faction linked to the Syrian Free Army. The source said that this factions would be formed based on a previous agreement reached between Ankara and Moscow.

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