Kurds not attending Geneva talks due to Turkey’s position

Co-chair of PYD Salih Muslim (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Syrian Kurds will not be attending the next round of Geneva talks on Syrian settlement due to Turkey’s anti-Kurdish sentiment, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) Saleh Moslem told the Firat News Agency, adding that the group was in contact with the talks’ UN mediators.

“We do have a relationship with the people who administer the talks, but there is no advance in our attendance … Even though we are not in Geneva, we are not the loser in this process,” Moslem said Sunday, as quoted by the news agency.

He specified that the PYD is in communication with people from the team of UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Moslem noted that a political solution could not be adopted without the participation of Kurdish representation in the talks. While the Syrian Kurds are not present at the negotiations “due to Turkey’s approach,” Moslem stressed that they did not consider Ankara as an enemy.

“The US and Russia know very well that without us, there can be no political solution in Syria. We may not be at the table now due to Turkey’s approach, but the forces that know there won’t be a political solution without the Kurds want to include us in this process without discarding Turkey,” Moslem said.

The UN-backed intra-Syrian talks between the Syrian government and opposition parties have been held since 2012 in Geneva. The newest round of talks will be held on 16-19 May.

Turkey has rejected the involvement of the PYD in the talks, as it considers the group an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it has been fighting for over three decades.