Fabius confirms PYD is not invited to Syria talks in Geneva

France’s foreign minister says UN special envoy to Syria informed him that PYD militant group will not be invited to Geneva for Syrian peace talks

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is seen in this archive photo.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday the United Nations' Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, informed him that he would not be inviting PYD militant group to the Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

"Mr. de Mistura sent invitations ... the PYD group was causing the most problems, and Mr de Mistura told me he had not sent them an invitation letter,"  Fabius told France Culture radio.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced earlier on Tuesday that Turkey will boycott Syria peace talks if PKK’s Syrian extension PYD is invited to the latest Geneva meeting, organised by the United Nations.

“The PYD is a terrorist organisation and has no place with the opposition at the negotiating table,” Cavusoglu said.

"Under what title will PYD sit at the table? Could a terrorist organisation be a representative of [Syrian Kurdish] people? Will Al Qaeda and Nusra Front be able to take a seat at the table?" Cavusoglu asked.

Turkey considers PYD as the PKK's Syrian extension, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU, and the US.

"The negotiation will be made between the opposition and the regime. Terrorist groups are out of the question," he stressed, noting that there will not be separate groups for Syrian Turkmens and Arabs.

Syrian opposition group to lead negotiations

Meanwhile, French FM said de Mistura had also confirmed to him that the opposition group would lead the negotiations although other opponents could also be present.

"I spoke to Mr (Riad) Hijab (opposition coordinator)... he will respond to De Mistura and Ban ki-Moon this morning. If I understand their position, they say yes to negotiations ... and at the same time want details to be given in terms of who is participating, what's being done on the humanitarian front and what we are going to talk about."

France has been a key backer of opposition forces battling Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad and has been advising them on how to prepare for proposed UN backed peace talks expected to begin on Jan. 29 involving the Syrian regime.

TRTWorld, Reuters