Turkish FM talks to French, US counterparts ahead of Geneva talks on Syria
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu listens to a speech during the 8th Ambassadors' Conference at the JW Marriot Hotel in Ankara on January 12, 2016. AFP PhotoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has spoken with counterparts from France and the United States ahead of U.N.-led peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition that are slated for the near future in Geneva.
Çavuşoğlu first spoke to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry late on Jan. 24. In addition to the Geneva talks, the two also exchanged views on Russia’s airstrikes in Syria, diplomatic sources said. Later in the evening, Çavuşoğlu spoke to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and discussed the planned talks in Geneva, said the same sources, speaking under customary condition of anonymity.
Turkey has objected to the inclusion of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian peace talks on the side of the opposition. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Laos on Jan. 25, Kerry denied suggestions of disunity among countries that back the opposition and said U.S. support for foes of President Bashar al-Assad remains solid.
The talks were due to begin on Jan. 25 in Geneva but were set to be delayed because of disagreements with Russia and Iran, which support the Syrian government, over which groups can represent the opposition.