Russian support won’t help Syrian Kurds for future Geneva talks: analysts

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Syrian Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ. File photo: AFP

ARA News 

QAMISHLO – Analysts suggest that despite the Russian diplomatic support to Syrian Kurds, it’s unlikely that the Democratic Union Party (PYD) will be invited to any future peace talks in Geneva. 

Syrian Kurdish officials have been visiting both the United States and Russia in a bit to receive more political and military support.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a meeting with PYD representative Khalid Issa in Vienna, thanked the Syrian Kurds for returning the body of Russian soldier Alexander Prokhorenko who was killed in Syria. Lavrov reportedly said that the PYD should be part of any future peace talks in Geneva.

Speaking to ARA News, Woodrow Wilson Centre’s analyst Amber Zaman said: “The main reason that the PYD is excluded from the Geneva talks is Turkey’s opposition. Turkey is a key actor in the Syrian conflict and without its cooperation the talks would fail. But another, frequently overlooked reason, is that most of the other Syrian opposition groups despise the PYD.” 

Michael Stephens, head of the RUSI think-tank, told ARA News that it will be difficult to foresee the PYD to be invited to the Syria peace talks in Geneva any time soon.

“The vast majority of opposition groups are still vehemently opposed to any notion of national division in Syria. Additionally, both Turkey and Saudi Arabia would reject the Kurdish inclusion,” he said.

“However this would only speed up the de-facto formation of a separate ruling system in Syria, as the Kurds will simply concentrate on institutionalizing their governance across Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region] until the federalization they seek in Syria is achieved. If both the regime and the opposition continue to refuse to talk to the PYD they will only succeed in hastening the break up of the country, rather than preventing it,” Stephens told ARA News.

Nevertheless, head of the RUSI think-tank described the Russian push for the inclusion of the PYD in the Syrian negotiations as “unsuccessful”.

“The Russians have been pushing hard for a while on this, but have yet to get a result. I think primarily because Turkey knows this is a Russian pressure point it’s why they’ve resisted it so strongly,” he added.

Some Kurdish politicians believe that Russia is only supporting the Assad regime in Syria, and is not serious in its support to the Kurds.

Moreover, the PYD is also disappointed that the United States does not recognize the Kurds, and does not push Turkey to accept the PYD as one of the Kurds’ representatives in Syria.

A Kurdish politician who wished to stay anonymous wondered how the US could convince and push Russia to accept an Islamist rebel leader like Mohammed Aloush, commander of the Army of Islam [Iash al-Islam], as a negotiator in Geneva, but could not push for the inclusion of the PYD.

“Short of the diplomatic recognition the Kurds desire, the US can deliver security guarantees. There is a widespread analysis on the American side that while the Kurds are not the complete answer to defeating ISIS, they are an indispensable component to defeating ISIS,” Nicholas Heras, a Washington-based Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security told ARA News.

“The US is trying to avoid this by escalating military support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) now, to make northeastern Syria under the American sphere of influence,” he added.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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One thought on “Russian support won’t help Syrian Kurds for future Geneva talks: analysts”

  1. arma says:

    Eastern kurds must support the western kurds in North-Aleppo.

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