Russian FM Sergei Lavrov
11 March 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged the UN's special envoy on Syria to include Kurdish representatives in the upcoming Geneva talks.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Chinese Foreign Minister today Lavrov said, "I am convinced Staffan de Mistura should take such a decision. Launching negotiations without the participation of the PYD would be a sign of weakness from the international community."
Criticising Turkey's stance on the matter as "an ultimaton" Lavrov said, "Only Turks are blocking the invitation of Kurds from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)."
Lavrov emphasised the importance of the PYD's attendance by stating that holding talks on forming a new ruling structure for constitutional reform and elections without Kurds would be "a most serious infringement of the rights of a large and significant group living in Syria... Kurds are allies both of the US coalition and Russia," he added.
Meanwhile UN envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Russian state news agency that they would not be sending out any new invitations in addition to the ones sent out for the previous round of talks.
Saleh Moslem, the co-chair of the PYD said following non-invitation to the previous round of talks in January, ""Some do not want a solution in Syria. They want to exclude the Kurds from this meeting. Plans are being hatched behind closed doors. Some forces (Turkey) have based all their efforts on preventing Kurds... These forces do not want peace in Syria, they want the war to continue. Now they are using the Kurds' attendance as a reason to sabotage the talks. Geneva I and II ended without results due to this attitude. Everyone knows that a meeting without the Kurds is inconclusive."
The new round of talks, which were postponed reccently are expected to begin on 14 March and last not more than 10 days.