Kurdish National Council to hold talks with Turkish officials

Kurdish National Council to hold talks with Turkish officials

Kurdish National Council to hold talks with Turkish officials

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu says Turkey does not ‘make distinctions between Kurdish groups in Syria.’ DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Representatives of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) of Syria are set to have talks with Foreign Ministry officials today.

“We hope that all [Syrian] groups, under the framework of the Syrian National Coalition, will participate in the upcoming Geneva conference in solidarity and with citizenship consciousness,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters yesterday, adding that the Kurdish National Council would visit Ankara to have discussions on this issue.

The Kurdish National Council set a clear attitude against the Syrian regime in principle so far and participated in the Syrian opposition, the minister said in an apparent reference to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara continuously criticized for not taking a clear position against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey does not differentiate between ethnic or sectarian differences on any groups in neighboring countries, Davutoğlu noted.

“We oppose any ethnical or sectarian group that will dominate or clash with others, particularly in Syria. In this respect, Turkey always pursued Kurdish groups to achieve their rights in Syria, even in times before the Syrian crisis,” the minister said.

Recalling that he met with the Kurdish National Council last year in Arbil, Davutoğlu said it was not extraordinary for Turkish officials to have talks with Kurdish groups.

“We do not make distinctions between Kurdish groups in Syria. But we have expectations,” the minister said citing the PYD, and listed the conditions as follows:

They should take a clear stance against the [Syrian regime] and should not take any activity against other elements in Syria in collaboration with the Syrian regime. They should participate in the Syrian opposition. They should not take any de facto steps in Syria, until an elected parliament in the country takes duty.

“Whenever a convincing step comes from the PYD, our colleagues will hold talks as they did previously,” the minister stated. “It’s not appropriate to adopt an indecisive attitude in the Syrian opposition,” Davutoğlu added.

For this reason, there were no PYD members participating in the group which was set to have talks in Ankara, the minister also said.

The meeting at the Foreign Ministry comes just after an agreement between the major Kurdish block and Syrian National Coalition. On Sept. 16, the Syrian opposition approved an agreement and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) has joined the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NC).

Unlike most other Kurdish Syrian parties, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) did not join the Kurdish National Council. The KNC joining the NC is opposed by the PYD.

In a recent interview, Salih Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was quoted as saying that his group did not support the KNC joining the Syrian National Coalition.

“I think it’s going to divide the Kurdish people, because there was a decision by the Supreme Kurdish Council not to deal with any side of the opposition without permission,” he said.

“We want all the Kurds to deal with the opposition together, not to join them, but to coordinate with them or to have some kind of agreement,” Muslim also said.