SALIH MUSLIM : PYD leader meets Turkish officials / BREAKTHROUGH

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News – 3.6.2013 – Turkish officials recently met with Salih Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as part of Turkey’s efforts for the unification of the Syrian opposition, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The meeting came up after repeated calls from the PYD leader to meet Turkish officials. Ankara regarded the PYD as the political offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria, and criticized ambiguity in the party’s attitude and stance against the Syrian regime. Turkey former ambassador to Syria, Ömer Onhon, was among the Turkish officials who met Salih in Cairo.

“We have never had an organic opposition to the PYD,” the diplomat said, citing Ankara’s three expectations from the party that were as follows; taking a clear stance against the Syrian regime, against the PKK, and not imposing conditions, such as autonomous rule, for the future of Syria already at this stage. The Turkish officials’ meeting with Muslim came after signals from the PYD in this respect, according to the diplomat, and could continue if the party clears its attitude in this framework of three expectations. A member of the PYD represented the party at the Syrian opposition’s meeting in Istanbul last week. Syria’s Kurds, who make up about 15 percent of the population, said they wanted to take part in the Geneva Peace Conference even if they did so independently. –