Round Eight on Syrian Talks Kick off in Geneva

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (3rd L) shakes hands with head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri (3rd R) next to opposition delegation members (from L-R) Khaled al-Mahamid, Hanadi Abu Arab, Jamal Suliman and Safwan Akash, on the opening of a new round of Syria's peace talks at the United Naitons Office in Geneva, Switzerland November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (3rd L) shakes hands with head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri (3rd R) next to opposition delegation members (from L-R) Khaled al-Mahamid, Hanadi Abu Arab, Jamal Suliman and Safwan Akash, on the opening of a new round of Syria's peace talks at the United Naitons Office in Geneva, Switzerland November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool
TT

Round Eight on Syrian Talks Kick off in Geneva

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (3rd L) shakes hands with head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri (3rd R) next to opposition delegation members (from L-R) Khaled al-Mahamid, Hanadi Abu Arab, Jamal Suliman and Safwan Akash, on the opening of a new round of Syria's peace talks at the United Naitons Office in Geneva, Switzerland November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (3rd L) shakes hands with head of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) Nasr al-Hariri (3rd R) next to opposition delegation members (from L-R) Khaled al-Mahamid, Hanadi Abu Arab, Jamal Suliman and Safwan Akash, on the opening of a new round of Syria's peace talks at the United Naitons Office in Geneva, Switzerland November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

The eighth round of Syrian talks began on Tuesday in Geneva upon the Syrian opposition delegation's arrival.

A Syrian government delegation will arrive in Geneva on Wednesday, a day later than expected, to attend peace talks being held there this week, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

The opposition delegation preceded the meetings by issuing a press statement pointing out that the Syrian regime is still brutally targeting Syrians.

It also said that postponing and bringing up excuses, in order to lag behind the timetable of diplomatic efforts, set to take place in Geneva, does not serve the interest of the people.

According to the statement, the opposition started a series of coordinating meetings with the UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, to review the situation, especially following reports coming from within Syria attributed to the MSF (doctors without borders), showing that about 70 persons have died and as many as 500 have been injured, in Eastern Ghouta District, during the past two weeks.



Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
TT

Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Friday his country hasn’t given Türkiye the green light to carry out operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In televised remarks, he said the Baghdad government needs to hold more “security discussions with Turkish officials, even though it recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also an Iraqi problem.”

He added that the Turkish army has been deployed in some Iraqi territories since 1991.

The deployment will be discussed during meetings with Turkish officials that will be held soon, he revealed.

Previous discussions with Türkiye did not yield an agreement over the security file, continued the FM. Türkiye is tying its deployment to the presence of the PKK.

Given that the group is present in Iraq, then it must also be dealt with in an “Iraqi way,” he went on to say.

The Turkish military’s incursion of 40 kms inside Iraqi territory had sparked widespread political and popular uproar.

Iraq’s national security council convened to address the issue.

Spokesman of the armed forces Yahya Rasool said the council tackled the Turkish violations and interference in the joint Iraqi-Turkish border regions.

He stressed Baghdad’s rejection of the incursion and undermining of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Türkiye must respect the principles of good neighborliness and work diplomatically with the Iraqi government and coordinate with it over any security issue, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had dispatched a delegation led by the national security council head to Kurdistan to discuss general affairs and come up with a unified position over Iraq’s sovereignty.