Turkey has intervened in Russian invitation to YPG: Presidential spokesperson

Turkey has intervened in Russian invitation to YPG: Presidential spokesperson

Turkey has intervened in Russian invitation to YPG: Presidential spokesperson

A Russian invitation for the Kurdish-led authorities in northern Syria to a proposed congress of Syria’s rival parties in November is “unacceptable,” Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said.

“It is an imposition. We have immediately conveyed our reaction. It’s unacceptable,” Kalın told reporters on Nov. 1.

The Turkish government has “no problem” with any invitation to other Syrian Kurdish groups but sees as “unacceptable” the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara sees as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), he said.

Turkish officials in the last Astana meeting immediately intervened in the invitation and “the problem was resolved,” Kalın said, adding that Ankara told Moscow “this kind of initiatives will not be welcomed.”

Russia seeks to launch a new initiative to end the Syrian conflict during a two-day meeting in Astana on Nov. 30-31.

“We are studying the issue and our stance has been positive so far,” Badran Jia Kurd, an adviser to the administration that governs the Kurdish-led autonomous regions of Syria, told Reuters on Oct. 31. The Syrian Kurdish authorities have so far been left out of international talks in line with Turkish wishes.

Moscow has said the congress will focus on “compromise solutions” towards ending the conflict, which began more than six years ago with street protests against the Syrian leader.

Meanwhile, Kalın said Turkey will evaluate a possible request by Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechinvan Barzani to visit Ankara for meetings in the upcoming period if he assumes the presidential post of departing Masoud Barzani.

His comments came after media reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had not responded to a request of Nechirvan Barzani for a meeting for two months.

Kalın also confirmed that the handover of control of the Habur border gate to the Iraqi central government is underway.

“The border gate control is now being handed over to the central government,” he said.

Iraqi Kurdish officials on Oct. 31 said the border crossing was still under their control and the talks were ongoing for hand over.