04:06 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Vitaly Churkin

    Turkey Should Urge Kurds to Take Part in Intra-Syrian Talks

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    Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said that if Turks want the Kurds to remain in Syria rather than thinking of their statehood, Ankara should on the contrary encourage them to participate in the intra-Syrian negotiations.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey should urge Kurds to take part in intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva to preserve the Arab republic’s territorial integrity, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Thursday.

    Ankara views Kurdish self-defense forces in northern Syria and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatists in southeastern Turkey as terrorist organizations. It actively opposes any Syrian Kurds' participation in political settlement talks.

    "If Turks want the Kurds to remain in Syria rather than thinking of their statehood, Ankara should on the contrary encourage them to participate in the intra-Syrian negotiations," Churkin told Russia’s Kommersant daily.

    Turkish leadership preoccupies itself with Syrian Kurds "winning back single space" and coordinating with Kurds based in Turkey, Churkin added, stressing the "serious geopolitical consequences" of the move.

    "We insisted that the opposition delegation included Kurds on the eve of January intra-Syrian talks in Geneva. After all, it is impossible to talk about the future of Syria without them. But the Turks were strongly against that, which in my opinion is simply irrational," he recalled.

    The talks between Syrian government and opposition delegates are scheduled to resume on February 25.

    World and regional powers, the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), agreed last week to a "cessation of hostilities" to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian cities and towns.


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    Kurds, Intra-Syria talks, Syrian crisis, United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, Russia, Syria