US backs new turn in Kurdish peace process
WASHINGTONU.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf has said the U.S. welcomes all steps in support of a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue, after the Turkish government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held a joint press conference in Istanbul on Feb. 28 to herald a new level in the peace process.
“We have, and obviously would welcome all steps in support of a peaceful resolution in this conflict, and commend the efforts of both the government and all parties concerned to work towards a lasting peace,” said Harf during the daily press briefings on March 2.
“I think there are still details and more to be fleshed out here that we don’t know, but certainly, we’ll be watching,” she added.
Upon a question of how the U.S. perceived the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, and whether Öcalan had power and influence over the process, Harf said she did not have an assessment for that question.
In a historic joint press conference with the government over the weekend, the HDP announced a call by Öcalan for the outlawed group to hold a congress in spring to discuss disarmament in Turkey, calling for a “reinforced cease-fire.”