Turkey will not accept the participation of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the upcoming Syria talks in Geneva on the opposition side of the table, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.
“Nobody will agree that the PYD, Daesh and similar organizations take part in the national coalition in Syria on the side of the opposition which has been battling the Assad regime for nearly five years,” Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara.
“As you know, we side with the fact that the Syrian opposition to take part in Geneva talk consists of forces that completely oppose the regime,” Kurtulmus noted. “We have been sharing such a view with all the international community insistently.”
“Elements, who cooperate with the [Assad] regime, should never behave as if they represent the opposition in these talks,” he added.
Commenting on developments in rural Latakia, Kurtulmus said that the Mount Turkmen area has been subjected to systematic aerial bombardment by Russia since November 19 in parallel with ground attacks by the Assad regime. He added that Turkey has been closely following the developments in that area, stressing that his country stands with the Turkmen population of Mount Turkmen.
President of the Syrian Coalition Khaled Khoja earlier said that talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and the High Negotiations Committee did not result in anything new. Khoja added that these talks just delivered messages similar to those espoused by Iran and Russia. Khoja also said that Russia and Iran continue to interfere in order to disrupt the High Negotiations Committee.
“Kerry did not make any promises, nor did he put forward any initiatives. He has long been delivering messages similar to those we have been hearing from Iran and Russia which call for the establishment of a ‘national government’ and allowing Bashar al-Assad to stay in power and stand for re-election,” Khoja added.
“We reject international pressure on the Syrian opposition to include pro-regime organizations in the opposition’s negotiating delegation,” Khoja said.
Khoja referred to an American intervention in favor of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, which are the same military forces that produced the Russian-endorsed “Syrian Democratic Council.” This intervention, Khoja added, will be aimed at producing a pro-regime opposition to replace the real opposition which expresses the aspirations of the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Anadolu Agency)