The leader of Syria's Kurdish National Council (KNC) has said U.S. support for the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorist organization is not in the interest of Kurds.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the sidelines of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Wednesday, Ibrahim Biro said: "This support will affect Kurds very badly."
Biro said all anti-regime groups in Syria had formed a united opposition delegation for the talks, saying the international community is giving "great support" to this delegation.
"It has become more important what the regime is going to do to achieve a peaceful solution in Syria and how much pressure Russia will apply on the regime to cooperate," he said.
Biro also said Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens and Assyrians are all under the new formation, but not the PYD, as none of the opposition groups accept the terrorist organization as part the delegation.
"The PYD closed down all the political parties that did not support them in the north of Syria. They also arrested and detained many members of some parties, especially the KNC. Several members of the KNC are currently detained by the PYD," he said.
"It is not good for Kurds that the U.S. is supporting PYD elements in regions where Arabs live, and this support will affect Kurds very badly because the places where they are fighting are not the Kurdish region. An organization like the PYD should never take control."
Menawhile, the Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement yesterday regarding the Syria National Dialogue Congress saying the negotiations with Russia and Iran are ongoing, while highlighting that although Kurds should be present at the congress, terrorists should not.
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi was postponed until February, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday, citing diplomatic sources. The congress will highlight the efforts of Turkey, Russia and Iran to find a political solution toward ending Syria's six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee in the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
The KNC is a political organization with a Syrian-Kurdish background and one of the main groups that constitutes the Syrian opposition. In 2016, PYD forces abducted Biro in the city center of al-Qamishli before forcing him to leave the country, threatening to "cut him into pieces" if he returned.
The PYD's oppression of rival political voices, including burning down their offices and arresting or kidnapping members, has been voiced as a concern by many Kurds in northern Syria. The KNC has been a critical voice against the PYD arrests and abductions.
The PYD and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia are Syrian branches of the PKK terrorist organization, which has waged war against the Turkish state for more than 30 years in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
An eighth round of Syria peace talks began on Tuesday in Geneva. Negotiators representing Syria's Bashar Assad regime arrived in Switzerland on Wednesday for the U.N.-backed talks to end the civil war, reportedly after securing key concessions from U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura, including keeping Assad's rule off the table.
Damascus had initially refused to confirm it would attend the talks, which began on Tuesday, given the opposition maintaining their hardline stance for Assad's removal.
With the help of Russian military support, the Syrian regime has made major advances against its opponents, seizing back large chunks of the country. But the U.N. announced that regime representatives would arrive on Wednesday.
The talks have achieved little through seven rounds, but there are hopes the latest could make some progress in ending what has been a devastating war.
Opposition representatives, united in one delegation for the first time, met de Mistura on Tuesday. Syrian opposition representatives also called for direct negotiations in Geneva with representatives of the Assad government.
A day earlier, opposition delegation head Nasr al-Hariri had told reporters that his camp still insists on Assad's removal as part of any peace deal, defying calls for moderation.
But keeping Assad off the table may also suit de Mistura, who has said he wants this round to focus on a new constitution for Syria and U.N.-supervised elections. The Syrian opposition's High Negotiation Council, however, offered to include regime representatives in the eighth round of the Geneva talks in a statement released after a meeting between the council's spokesman Yahya Aridi and de Mistura on Tuesday.
De Mistura had voiced hope the coming round would mark the first "real negotiation" on a possible deal to end the six-year war, which has claimed more than 340,000 lives and left Syria in ruins.
Erdoğan, Steinmeier discuss Sochi summit, agree to improve bilateral relations
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the need to improve ties between their countries at the Sochi summit held by Turkey, Russia and Iran in a phone call late Wednesday.
Both leaders agreed to improve strained bilateral and diplomatic relations and take mutual steps to that end, presidential sources said.
During the Sochi trilateral meeting, Erdoğan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the progress made in the Astana peace talks as well as changes in de-escalation zones across Syria.
Turkey, Russia and Iran are the guarantor countries that brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana talks, which run parallel to the U.N.-backed discussions in Geneva to find a political solution to the civil war.
In the phone call, Erdoğan also mentioned the need to hold free and fair elections in Syria.
The president reiterated that terrorist groups such as the PYD and its YPG have no place in the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Committee in Russia.
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