Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Moscow Bets on Sochi Conference… Ankara Refuses Kurds’ Participation

Moscow Bets on Sochi Conference… Ankara Refuses Kurds’ Participation

Thursday, 2 November, 2017 - 13:30
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Reuters

Despite the announcement of Syrian opposition factions and Ankara's rejection of the participation of any Kurdish party, Russia is still pinning hopes and intends to discuss their participation with international and regional powers to influence their positions.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in statements on Wednesday that Russia does not consider the rejection of the Higher Negotiations Committee (HNC) a final decision.

“We continue to discuss this matter and work with all involved parties,” Ryabkov said, describing their positions as kind of signal, “which the opposition has issued earlier on other different stances.”

He expressed his conviction that "in cooperation with those forces that have real influence on the opposition, we will still be able to move in a direction that obviously takes into account the beginnings that were formulated in Geneva, during the previous rounds of negotiations."

For his part, Secretary General of People’s Will Party Qadri Jamil, also the Head of Russia-based Moscow Platform group, announced his position in an official statement in which he said that they haven't received an official invitation yet for the Sochi conference.

He, however, noted that his group supports any step that could push forward the political process.

Cairo platform welcomed the Russian invitation in case it would lead to a political transition in Syria.

“We are with any conference that is carried out to achieve political transition under the virtue of UN resolutions (2254) and (2118), Geneva I and II and other relevant documents,” Member of Cairo platform Fares al-Khalid told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

Earlier, Leader and Founder of Alghad Alsoury Current (The Syrian Tomorrow Current) Ahmad Jarba said the opposition must sit with the Syrian government to reach a political solution in Syria.

He said that there are chances to resolve the crisis in Syria, saying "we have reached a deadlock in the Syrian crisis and that requires us to hold a dialogue conference.”

The Russian-sponsored congress of Syrian national dialogue will support the Geneva talks, Jarba added, pointing out that "all components in Syria will take part in it."

Regarding the participation of the Kurds in the conference, Spokesman for the Turkish presidency Ibrahim Kalin said during a press conference that Russia’s invitation to the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed affiliate, People’s Protection Units (YPG), to the congress is “unacceptable,” adding that the Turkish government considered it an “imposition”.

Editor Picks