16:58 GMT +323 July 2018
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    Kurdish women hold flags of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and banners during a demonstration against the exclusion of Syrian-Kurds from the Geneva talks in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on February 4, 2016

    Lavrov: Refusal to Invite Kurds to Syria Peace Talks to Feed Separatism

    © AFP 2018 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    The refusal to invite Kurds to the peace talks in Geneva will only feed separatism in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – 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.

    “It will be on the conscious of those who try to push this sort of approach forward, a very alarming perspective will remain in that the exclusion of the Kurds from the process from the very beginning will only stoke those forces that would prefer not to remain within Syria, but instead think of some other separation. I don’t think this is in anyone’s interests,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow.

    Lavrov said that all of the participants in the International Syria Support Group except Turkey have been for the Kurds’ participation in the negotiations process from the onset.

    “I’m sure that [UN Special Envoy to Syria] Staffan de Mistura needs to make the appropriate decision,” Lavrov added.

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    Sergei Lavrov, Syria
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