Syrian Kurdish party expects invite to Geneva talks

Reuters , Tuesday 26 Jan 2016

The Syrian Kurdish PYD party expects to be invited to peace talks planned later this week in Geneva, but it is not yet clear in what capacity they will be there, the party's joint leader Saleh Muslim said on Tuesday.

"We will be invited, but we still don't know in what position," Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Reuters. The invitations are expected to be sent on Tuesday.

Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been calling for the PYD to be included in the opposition delegation, but the Saudi-backed Sunni Arab opposition has rejected that idea.

Turkey, another backer of the rebellion, has also opposed the PYD's participation in peace talks in the opposition ranks.

The PYD is affiliated to the PKK, which is seen as a terrorist group by Turkey and major Western states.

The YPG militia, which is affiliated to the PYD, controls wide areas of northern and northeastern Syria where it has become an important ally in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State.

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