Wednesday, 6 April 2016

the West betrays the Kurds (yet again)

Western states block Kurdish participation in Syria peace talks proposed by Russia

5 April, 2016

© Chip East
© Chip East / Reuters

Russia’s proposal to include Kurds in Geneva Syrian talks was vetoed by the UN Security Council’s Western members, UN envoy Vitaly Churkin reported, saying this contradicts UN resolutions on Syrian reconciliation and ignores calls for inclusive talks.
Churkin warned that if the Syrian Kurds do not in the peace process, international efforts to bring peace to Syria could be undermined.

We are concerned that the Syrian Kurds, historically woven into the social fabric of the country, still have not been invited to the Geneva talks,” he said, pointing out that by not inviting the Kurds, the West is violating the spirit of inclusiveness for the Syrian talks in the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

The diplomat also slammed the actions of the non-permanent member Ukraine, whose opposition to the Russian draft“added its destructive share” to the final decision.

© Rodi Said
© Rodi Said / Reuters

Damascus, opposition should do ‘homework’ ahead of Geneva – Lavrov

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that it was crucial that all parties, including the Kurds, are included in the upcoming round of Geneva talks. He made the statements after meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Moscow.

Naturally, like in any conflict, the most important thing is to ensure the inclusive character of talks and their orientation towards direct dialogue between the parties,” Lavrov said.

He added that Moscow would “comprehensively” support such a format, expressing hope that all of the provisions included in the UN resolutions on Syria, as well as the resolutions of the Syria Support Group, would be implemented.

The minister stressed that both the Syrian government and opposition should do their respective “homework” in order to facilitate the talks’ success, while praising the work of the UN Special Envoy.

You have summed up the results of the round of intra-Syrian talks and neither of the parties rejected these results,” he stated.

Lavrov also called for external mediators to send the participants clear synchronized signals “for peace and accord.”

In his turn, de Mistura urged the interested parties to step up their efforts to ensure that all sides of the Syrian conflict comply with the cessation of hostilities.

The Russian FM pointed out that a solution to the Syrian crisis should be entirely based on the principles outlined in the UN and Syrian Support Group resolutions which stipulate that “only the Syrian people can determine the future of their country.”

Meanwhile, referring to the inclusiveness of the talks, French Senate President Gerard Larcher stated that participants in the Geneva talks should consider the possibility of allowing the Kurds to take part.

Negotiations should be inclusive…we should consider the possibility of the Kurds’ participation,” he told journalists on Tuesday. He also stressed that Syria should remain a single state, adding that France supports the renewal of the talks.  

Lavrov expressed hope that De Mistura’s visit to the Russian capital ahead of the next round of Geneva talks would constitute “an important stage in preparations for the second round of the talks,” which is scheduled to begin in Geneva, Switzerland on April 11.

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