02:18 GMT13 July 2020
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    Turkey opposes participation of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the forthcoming talks on Syria that are expected to be held in Astana, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – On December 17, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call the possibility of a meeting between the Syrian conflicting parties in Astana. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported the initiative and expressed readiness to provide a platform for such talks in the Kazakh capital.

    “Terrorists – Islamic State [Daesh] and the Nusra Front [also known as Jabhat Fatah al Sham] as well as PYD – have no right to take part in negotiations in Astana, Geneva or any other place,” Kurtulmus told A Haber broadcaster.

    Kurtulmus also expressed his hope that the new US administration would take into account the Turkish position on the Syrian conflict.

    “Particularly, the United States must stop supporting PYD terrorists. In other words Washington must understand that PYD cannot be a tool of achieving US goals in the region,” Kurtulmus said.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including Daesh and Jabhat Fatah al Sham, which are banned in a range of countries, including Russia.

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