PYD leader cannot get visa from US
Tolga Tanış WASHINGTON
PYD leader Salih Müslim (R) is seen during a European Parliament eventin December 2014, where he was awarded for ‘rescuing children.’ DHA PhotoDespite praising the defeat of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border, the U.S. has rejected a visa request from Salih Müslim, the leader of the party behind the Kurdish militia who fought against the jihadists.
U.S. authorities refused to cite a reason for the Jan. 8 refusal of Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Müslim. His effort to go to Washington goes back to 2012. However, his application to the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm was neither denied, nor confirmed until this recent decision. PYD has close links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the U.S. considers as a terror organization. In August last year, Müslim renewed his application in order to join a panel held by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, submitting a letter of invitation from the think-tank’s deputy director.
The process failed once again, as a letter to Foreign Minister John Kerry by the Kurdish-American Friendship Group of the U.S. Congress also did not yield a result. Katherine Wilkens, deputy director of the Middle East Program at the think tank, criticized the administration’s decision. “We invited Müslim for a conference on Syria at the Carnegie Endowment to discuss the important contribution that Syrian Kurdish forces are making in the ground campaign against ISIL. Since we first issued the invitation, State Department officials have met with Mr. Müslim in Europe and our military has been coordinating the successful air campaign over Kobane with PYD representative,” she said.