kurdish leader says excluding sdf from syria peace talks huge mistake


Kurdish leader says excluding SDF from Syria peace talks ‘huge mistake’


The PYD Co-Chairs Salih Muslim (L) and Asiya Abdullah (R) speaking to a press conference in Sere Kaniye, northeast Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Kobane – Leading Kurdish politician Salih Muslim, argued on Monday that excluding the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the upcoming peace talks in Astana was a mistake, limiting the talks’ scope and breadth.

Muslim, the co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told ARA News in an exclusive interview that the goal of the Russia-sponsored talks is finding a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

“The upcoming Astana meeting is aimed at negotiating possible solutions for the Syrian crisis,” the Kurdish politician explained. “However, excluding the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from these talks is a huge mistake.”

Muslim believes that “the SDF is one of the critical players,” whose endorsement would be required for any lasting agreement. He added that holding peace talks “without any participation from the SDF won’t lead to an actual solution.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces are a polyethnic alliance, including Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian units. US officials believe that the SDF is one of their most effective allies in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Astana talks will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital on January 23, bringing together representatives from the Syrian regime and the armed opposition. Negotiators aim to build on a nationwide ceasefire that has largely held despite incessant outbreaks of violence.

“One of our priorities is reaching a truce agreement in order to stop the bloodshed in Syria,” Muslim stated. “A ceasefire would be the main accomplishment, and we won’t aspire for more from the Astana talks.”

“Finding a solution for the Syrian crisis cannot come from Astana,” the Kurdish leader concluded. “The real Syrian political solution must come from power centers [in Syria].”

Reporting by: Heysem Haci | Source: ARA News 

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