MESOP : A DANGEROUS INVITATION BY THE ASSAD REGIME – Syrian FM praises Kurdish PYD/PKK ahead of Geneva talks

 By Rudaw – 13 March 2016 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid Muaalim, on Saturday described ISIS as “the common threat” against what he called “all the Syrian people” and praised Kurds for their opposition to the Jihadi groups.“Kurds are citizens of Syria and we are in the same ditch together against the ISIS as we try to rebuild the country,” Muaalim told a group of reporters in Damascus two days before the third round of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on the future of Syria set for Monday, March 14.

Nearly 30 percent of Syria’s one million Kurdish population were stripped of their Syrian citizenship in the 1962 controversial census which declared them as ‘ajanib’ or foreigners. In April 2011, just weeks after the Syrian uprising, President Bashar Assad signed a decree to grant the ajanib citizenship, especially in Hasaka area. Muaalim’s direct reference to Kurds as Syrian citizens came shortly after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call on UN to include Kurds in Monday’s talks, something Turkey was effectively able to block, as the talks will go ahead without representatives from the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).