21:23 GMT +321 October 2016
    Women fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) dance during festivities on the eve of International Women's Day in Syria's northeastern city of Qamishli in the Hasakeh province, on the border with Turkey

    Syrian Government Delegation Meets With Kurds in Secret

    Middle East
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    Kurds in Syria have long demanded participation in the peace talks in Geneva. Not long ago, a delegation from Damascus paid a secret visit to the Hasakah province to negotiate terms, according to reports.

    Top-level Syrian officials recently met with leading Kurdish self-defense units and political parties to discuss their involvement in the forthcoming Geneva 3 talks on the future of Syria to be held January 25, Iraqi Kurdish news outlet BasNews reported.

    A number of high-ranking military officials, headed by Mohammad al-Shaar, the Interior Minister of Syria, reportedly traveled to the majority-Kurdish town of Qamishli on the border with Turkey.

    The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) hosted their negotiations with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) alongside the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to BasNews.

    Meanwhile, a campaign has been launched by the Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS) to bring to the world’s attention the status of the Syrian Kurds during the upcoming Geneva talks. A petition addressed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is aimed at gathering a million signatures, local media reported.

    “The petition emphasizes the role that Kurds have played in Syria and asks that people be included in the decision-makings about their future,” Ibrahim Biro, head of ENKS, commented to Kurdistan24. “We want to tell the United Nations and the international community that the [Kurdish] people [in Syria] are the decision makers in such significant matters, and that politicians should not be the only ones who have a say in the destiny of our people.”

    Russia objected to excluding Kurds from Syrian peace negotiations after they were not invited to the Syrian opposition summit in Saudi Arabia mid-December 2015. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the Vienna-format talks on resolving the long term Syrian civil war must include of all the country’s opposition groups, as well as a delegation from Damascus.

    Earlier, Syrian President Bashar Assad stated that Kurdish autonomy could only be discussed after a victory over terrorism.

    ​Kurds comprise some 10% of the population in Syria and have formed a self-governing autonomy dubbed Rojava (“West” in Kurdish), consisting of four cantons, with its own constitution based on the principle of direct democracy. The battle-hardened Rojavan self-defense units, People’s Protection Forces (YPG) and its female branch (YPJ), have proved one of the most effective ground forces against jihadists of Daesh and al-Qaeda (Nusra).

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    Syrian peace talks, conflict resolution, negotiations, Kurds, peace talks, kurds, Geneva 3 Peace Talks, Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS), Womens' Protection Units (YPJ), Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), PKK, Mohammad al-Shaar, Bashar al-Assad, Sergei Lavrov, Qamishli, Rojava, Hasakah, Syria
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    • Blackie
      Kurds are great, and fought well in Kobane, so help them .
    • Baybars
      Excellent. Choke on this, Erdogan.
    • Baybars
      marcanhalt, Do the Kurdish people have Oscars?
    • marcanhaltin reply toBaybars (Show commentHide comment)
      Baybars, My bad! Wrong article.
    • FlorianGeyerin reply toBaybars (Show commentHide comment)

      Not yet but I understand that the American People have an OSCAR with a glass diamond on top for 'Looking at their Navel whilst Scratching their Fat Bottoms', Oh and another for ' Having Zero Understanding of World Politics'.
    • cast235
      If is about talks, they've no businesses in Geneva nor at U.N. But inside Syria, Syria is Syria, and IF they want to be part of Syria, they MUST understand FAST, that they will be Syrian Kurd's.
      There will be no Kurd territory demarcations either. And they have NO voice and vote in Damascus affairs.
      However they can live in peace inside Syria, and be Syrian Kurd's. Their choice.
      Stop showing the babies a rattle and then refuse to give it to them. Tell them NO since day A. Not to those demands. PERIOD.
      They were with FSA which turn them into terrorists. So to wash hands, best get into the program, while it last.
      Russia and Syria mil will crush the enemy. Mc Cain . Or NOT Mc Cain.
      Obama's peaceful terrorists, will die happily. Maybe is time they go home. To Washingtin and E.U.. Oh wait they already at E.U.
      Ban Ki Moon may want to take them home. Remember? Before Russia taught them who's the boss?
      Kurd's will have future in Syria, but NOT a saying at U.N , Geneva or any of Syrian gov affairs. Just as people of Syria. Like the rest.
    • Ivan Buckeye
      Baha, no amount of a Kurdistan could stand own it's on feet and not have Kurds fleeing out of sheer boredom and misery of rural living in land locked hill country. Fun. Just ask any Apalachian, myself included.
    • Ann in reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
      cast235, You mean they should expect no more say than the rest of the Syrian people, right?
    • SInce the start of the Russian bombing this is the best move by the Syrian government. Make it regular and invite the Kurdish delegation to Damascus immediately.
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