Syrian Kurdish official meets Russian Foreign Minister in Vienna

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. File photo

ARA News 

QAMISHLO – Democratic Union Party (PYD) representative in France Khaled Issa met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Vienna on Monday, after receiving an invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Despite Russian’s previous support, the PYD has not been invited to the recent rounds of Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

The meeting between the PYD representative and the Russian FM followed a meeting between Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna, that focused on future peace talks in Syria.

Last Tuesday, the US and Russia co-chaired a meeting of the International Syria Support Group, which includes Arab League and European Union countries as well as Turkey, Iran and China.

Nevertheless, it is unclear if the Geneva talks would resume this month or not. 

The PYD and its allies fear that in the future the local administrations established by the Kurds in northern Syria [also known as Rojava] will not be recognized by the diplomatic talks, especially that both the Assad regime and the opposition have shows strong rejection to the Kurdish-led announcement of federalism north Syria. 

On 17 March, the PYD and it’s Arab allies announced the preparation for the creation of a Democratic Federal System for Rojava and Northern Syria in a two-days conference in the oil-rich town of Rumelan.

So far, both the Syrian opposition and the regime condemned any form of autonomy for the Kurds, and want a central authority in Damascus. 

Speaking to ARA News, Syrian Kurdish regional interior minister Kanaan Barakat said: “The Syrian opposition does not accept the Kurds as Kurds, only as Arabs,” and suggested that the Kurdish National Council (KNC) that is part of the Syrian opposition delegation at Geneva will not achieve anything because of this.

“The KNC only speaks about federalism in the street, they cannot talk about federalism in Geneva because the opposition doesn’t accept this,” he said.

Last weekend, the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) warned in a statement that the Geneva talks could become a ‘second Sykes-Picot’ agreement.

TEV-DEM, a political umbrella that includes the PYD, suggested after meeting with other Syrian Kurdish parties that foreign parties want to exclude the Kurds from the Geneva talks.

Rodi Osman, the Syrian Kurdistan envoy to Russia, told TASS on Monday the exclusion of the Kurds does not help to resolve the Syrian crisis.

“It is impossible to solve the Syrian crisis and achieve success at talks in Geneva without the participation of representatives of all social groups of the country, including the Kurds,” he stressed.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News 

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