Turkish diplomatic sources cited by the Daily Sabah and other Turkish outlets have reported that the PYD, a political arm of the pro-PKK militant/terrorist group YPG, will not participate in the forthcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress, to be held in Sochi.
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress organised by the Astana partners Russia, Iran and Turkey, does not have a set-date, but it is expected to take place early in 2018. The discussion forum seeks to bring together the Syrian government and its partners with so-called “opposition” groups who seek to engage in a political process without pre-conditions. The composition of participating groups is still being discussed by all parties.
One of the main points of concern for Turkey was whether the PYD/YPG would participate. Ankara has expressed its opposition to the participation of Kurdish groups which are openly aligned with the terrorist group PKK which operates in Turkey.
Today, it appears that an agreement was reached whereby the PYD/YPG will not participate but other Kurdish groups who reject terrorism and radicalism may still participate. This will likely satisfy the Syrian government as well as Turkey, as Syria names the YPG comprised SDF as a terrorist organisation.
Although Donald Trump promised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease US arms shipments to Kurdish militants, Turkey’s foreign minister has just said that this has not happened.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey has stated,
“We do not interfere in the U.S.’s internal affairs but if the Pentagon is not listening to its own president, then it ultimately concerns us because the weapons given them are a threat to us”.
As I previously wrote in The Duran, America’s failure to distance itself from Kurdish militants has predictably reignited Turkey’s sense of anger. At the same time, it appears that Russia and Turkey have found a compromise solution for the forthcoming peace talks, in respect of the burning Kurdish question.