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US Says PYD to Take Part in Syria Peace Talks
By Hisham Arafat

The US Department of States said on Tuesday that the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) is to be included in the upcoming peace talks on Syria.

The anticipated peace talks are to be held in Kazakhstan's capital Astana on a yet-undecided date.

"They [PYD] have to be a part of this process, is our consideration," said the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner in a Press Briefing .

Toner explained Washington's support for including the PYD in the peace process saying, "This process has to include all Syrians, and that includes the Syrian Kurds."

Regarding the US support for the YPG, the military wing of PYD, Toner further pointed out that the Kurdish groups in Syria are an essential part of any solution for the Syrian conflict.

"YPG is a force on the ground, is a representative group, and their voice will need to be heard in any kind of long-term solution to the situation in Syria," he said.

"A political process that leads to a political transition, a more democratic one, that's going to have to be accepted by all of the Syrian people," Toner further explained.

No Kurdish faction was present on its own at the United Nations-initiated, short-lasting Geneva talks on Syria in February 2016, also known as Geneva III.

PYD was excluded in all previous peace talks held in Geneva during the past three years.

PYD officials said their exclusion was because of the Turkish intervention in the Syrian conflict.

In a previous interview with Kurdistan24, Salih Muslim, the co-leader of the PYD, said, "Turkey's only concern in Syria is the Kurds, instead of solving the dilemma in the country. This intervention for selfish purposes hinders any effort to find a solution to the crisis."

Muslim stated that Turkey tries to stir up nationalist and anti-Kurdish sentiments among the factions of the Syrian society.


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