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Iran Press TV

Russia calls for dialogue between Syrian government, Kurds

Iran Press TV

Wed Oct 9, 2019 08:56AM

Russia has called for dialogue between the Syrian government and Kurdish forces controlling the country's northern region amid Washington's greenlight for Ankara's upcoming military operation against its Kurdish allies.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, urged for "dialogue between the central government in Damascus and representatives of the Kurdish communities that traditionally reside" in Syria.

Lavrov said that Russia had contacted representatives of both Kurdish militants and the Syrian government in a bid to encourage talks between the two sides, emphasizing the significance of talks as "the only way toward stability."

Washington announced earlier this week that the US had begun withdrawing troops from Syria's Kurdish-controlled border region with Turkey, allowing Ankara to proceed with a planned operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Earlier a top Kurdish official hinted at the possibility of Kurdish forces entering into negotiations with Damascus and Moscow

"If America vacates the area and especially the border area for certain we, as a self administration and as the SDF, will be forced to study all the available options," Badran Jia Kurd told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

The proposition was welcomed by a Syrian government official.

Turkey considers the YPG as a terrorist organization and an extension of the PKK, which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

Ankara's upcoming military operation has also drawn condemnation from the government in Damascus, which views Turkish presence on its territory as an infringement of national sovereignty.

Lavrov stressed the need to preserve Syria's territorial integrity.

He further added that Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, had given assurances that Ankara respected Syria's sovereignty during an earlier phone call.

Lavrov also censured Washington's decision allowing the Turkish incursion to take place, adding that Kurdish forces feared Washington's moves could "ignite the whole region."

"This must be avoided at all costs," he added.

Washington's ambiguous position on Syria has proven its inability to negotiate, he stressed.

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