MESOP : US AMBASSADOR ROBERT FORD PRO PKK/PYD / HNC CONDITIONS: “allow the PYD to take part in negotiations only if they cut all ties with the government & join opposition”

Syrian Kurds should be represented at Geneva peace talks as ‘separate delegation’

21 April 2016 – MESOP / SPUTNIK  – Syrian Kurds should be represented by a separate opposition delegation to the Geneva intra-Syrian talks, but this is difficult given there is no unity among this large part of the Syrian population, a former US ambassador to Syria told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Kurds did not receive an official invitation either to the current or previous rounds of talks. The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) claims that its participation in the intra-Syrian talks was blocked by Ankara. “They [Kurds] need to be in the negotiations, but they can’t be in the same negotiation with the other their opposition, because they don’t have a clear objective and they fight each other. So there probably needs to be [another] delegation – Kurdish PYD delegation. Turkey doesn’t like that of course,” Robert Ford said.

Earlier in the day, the Kurdish National Council (KNC), which takes part in the talks as part of the High Negotiations Committee delegation, told Sputnik it was ready to ask the group’s leadership to allow the PYD to take part in negotiations only if they cut all ties with the government and join opposition.

Ford underlined the importance of the HNC taking part in the ongoing round of talks.

“I think the delegation that in Geneva now officially, is the delegation that comprises most of the armed opposition. The people form the Moscow [Cairo, Astana] opposition [group], have no influence with the armed groups. So if you want real peace, you have to have a deal not with minor opposition people who live abroad, but instead with the armed groups, and you have to negotiate with the armed groups,” he said.

Ford thinks that the continuation of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva requires the global community to respect the humanitarian aspect of the UN Security Council resolution on a peace process in the Middle Eastern country. “I think it is possible for the talks to continue, but it will be necessary for the international community to show it is serious about the different elements of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 allowing humanitarian access for all of the community, not just to the ones that the Syrian government controls… but also to the ones controlled by the opposition,” Robert Ford said.