U.K. Ambassador to Ankara Richard Moore said on Monday that the U.K. recognizes links between the PKK terrorist organization and Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD), together with its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), saying denial of such links would be silly. Speaking to Milliyet daily, Moore stressed the U.K. is Turkey's best partner in the fight against the PKK, and that they don't turn a blind eye to links between the PKK and the PYD/YPG, saying, "If you go to any office of PYD or YPG, you see portraits of the [PKK's imprisoned leader] Abdullah Öcalan on the wall."
Recalling that the U.K. was one of the first countries to criticize the PYD's announcement of cantons in northern Syria, he said they understand Turkey's concerns about the structure of the Kurdish corridor in the region. "The majority of the groups living in the corridor called the 'Manbij Pocket' are Sunni Arabs, and these are groups for whom we have declared our support. This is not a Kurdish area. We think that local people in the region must have a right to control their own agenda," he said.
The U.K. envoy also claimed that there is clear coordination between Russia and the YPG and that Turkey is right in complaining about the group. He said: "In the negotiations in Geneva, the YPG cannot be in the delegation that represents the opposition. The YPG is not a part of the opposition forces."
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