Last Update 17:15
Monday, 14 October 2019

Syria Kurds leave Geneva without peace talks invites: Sources

AFP , Saturday 30 Jan 2016
Views: 926
Views: 926

Syrian Kurdish figures hoping to take part in fragile UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva have left the Swiss city after not receiving invitations to negotiations, sources told AFP on Saturday.

Saleh Muslim, head of the powerful Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), had travelled to Geneva last week in the hopes his movement would have a seat at the table.

But he and his advisors left Geneva late Friday, a member of his party's team in Switzerland said.

"Yes, we left Geneva because we did not get invitations," the member said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

"We will not commit to any decision that comes out of Geneva, including a ceasefire agreement," he added.

And Ilham Ahmad, the Kurdish co-head of an Arab-Kurdish joint council in Syria, told AFP she had also left the Swiss city on Friday night after not being invited to talks.

The participation of Kurdish parties has been one of the sharpest points of contention among warring parties in Syria and their respective backers.

Kurdish groups like the PYD and their armed wing, the People's Protection Units, insist that their participation is key to the success of any political process aimed at ending the nearly five-year war rocking Syria.

The PYD has been one of the most successful fighting forces against the extremist Islamic State group, clearing jihadists out of swathes of territory in northern Syria.

"Without us, this process will have the same fate as the last round of Geneva talks" in 2014, the PYD source told AFP.

Russia, which has helped President Bashar al-Assad's forces regain territory since starting air strikes in late September, also says that the Kurds must take part in any talks.

But the mainstream Syrian opposition body the High Negotiations Committee -- and its Turkish and Saudi backers -- have strongly objected to the PYD's participation.

Part of the HNC's own delegation to UN-administered talks, which includes at least one Kurdish member, is set to arrive in Geneva late Saturday.

The talks are the latest attempt at putting an end to Syria's nearly five-year war, which has left more than 260,000 people dead.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.