03:45 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Russian military police near the town of Darbasiyah in Syria

    Moscow Will Facilitate Dialogue Between Kurds, Damascus - Deputy Foreign Minister

    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow intends to facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the Kurds, and remains in contact with all parties interested in the Syrian settlement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday.

    "Of course, of course. We have contacts with all parties interested in a peaceful settlement based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and unity of Syria," he said when asked whether Moscow would facilitate a dialogue between the Kurds and the Syrian government.

    In early November, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said Moscow was ready to assist talks between the Kurds and Damascus on Kurdish units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) joining the Syrian government’s army.

    On 9 October, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria to clear the area of Kurdish militia.

    The United States and Turkey came to an agreement on 17 October for a 120-hour ceasefire to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish fighters from the Syrian-Turkish border. As the five-day ceasefire came to an end, Turkey and Russia reached a deal involving the pullback of the Kurdish fighters from the 18-mile safe-zone on the Syria-Turkish border for the further accommodation of Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey. In addition, Moscow and Ankara have begun joint patrols in the operation zone along the Turkish border.

    On 29 October, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the pullout of the Kurdish armed units from the safe zone had been finished ahead of schedule.

    Mikhail Bogdanov, Syrian Kurds, Syria, Russia
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