Turkish officials at the Astana peace talks reject the involvement of US-backed PYD and its military wing, the YPG, at the planned Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russia, scheduled for January 29-30.
Turkey has vetoed the involvement of the Syrian PYD and its military wing, the YPG, at a planned Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Turkish officials, who were in the Kazakh capital Astana for the latest round of Syria peace talks to discuss the Sochi meeting with their Russian and Iranian counterparts, reiterated Turkey's stance on the issue, according to diplomatic sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said all participants in the Syria talks in Geneva would be invited to the Sochi gathering, scheduled to take place between January 29-30, 2018.
“The list of participants confirmed by the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders will definitely be announced tomorrow [Friday] in Astana,” Lavrov said.
However, Turkey is opposed to the involvement of the US-backed PYD/YPG militants.
Turkish authorities have repeatedly expressed they would reject the presence of any terrorist groups at Syria talks.
TRT World's Abubakr al Shamahi reports on the talks in Astana.
Turkey considers the PYD and its military wing the YPG to be terrorist organisations, due to their affiliation with the PKK.
The PKK has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years and has left more than 40,000 people dead, including civilians. The organisation has been designated a terror group by Turkey, the US and the EU.
However, the US has been giving military and financial support for the PYD/YPG group, claiming they were fighting against Daesh.
An eighth round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syria conflict began on Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, and will end on Friday.
The Turkish delegation is chaired by the deputy undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Sedat Onal, while Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian president's special envoy for Syria, leads his delegation, and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari heads Iran’s.
Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the US are also participating in the talks.