Moscow invites Kurds and Syrian opposition to explain Astana


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) shakes hands with Syrian opposition leader Haytham Manna (C) of the Syrian National Coordination Committee. File photo

ARA News

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov invited members of the Syrian opposition groups, including Kurdish politicians of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), for a meeting on Friday to discuss the recent peace negotiations.

“We have invited on Friday all the opposition representatives from the political opposition that wish to come to Moscow and we will brief them about what happened in Astana,” Lavrov said.

According to informed sources, the invitation included Khaled Issa, a PYD representative based in France, and prominent Syrian opposition figures such as Jihad Makdissi, Moaz al-Khatib and others. The number of invited politicians may reach 20, including two more Kurdish politicians from the Rojava’s Self-Administration.

“Minister Lavrov invited a wide range of political opposition members in order to brief us about the outcome of the recent Astana meeting that confirmed the ceasefire,” Jihad Makdissi told ARA News.

“Friday’s meeting will also be a chance to reflect collectively with the minister [Lavrov] on the best way to push forward the Geneva talks in the direction of political settlement based on UNSCR 2254.”

“I heard that Kurdish officials are invited. I personally think that Kurds should always be part of any solution in Syria because they are Syrian Kurds and this is their right to be part of the national debate,” Makdissi said.

While the PYD was excluded from the Astana talks last week, the Kurdish National Council (KNC) was included as part of the Syrian opposition’s National Coalition (SNC).

Recently Putin’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said that the Russian delegation handed over the draft constitution to representatives of the armed Syrian opposition and awaits a reaction to the document.

The alleged draft constitution that was leaked by Rudaw included a reference to local administration areas and would provide equality between Kurdish and Arabic language in these areas.

Moreover, the Russian-proposed constitution would change the name “Syrian Arab Republic” into the “Syrian Republic”, and underline that Syria is “a secular state”.

However, it’s unclear if the Syrian rebel groups, the Syrian government and Turkey would accept such a proposal.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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