Kurds invited to Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi — diplomat
Representatives of the Kurds have been invited to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
“We are totally focused on preparations for the Congress,” she said. “Invitations have been sent to representatives of the Kurds and now it is up to them to decide whether to accept the invitations and take an active part in the event,” the Russian diplomat added.
Russia is constantly discussing the Kurdish issue with Turkey and is doing all that is possible to involve the Kurdish political forces in the settlement of the situation in Syria, she said.
“Of course, [Russia] is discussing [the Kurdish issue with Turkey,] [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov and other Russian representatives are talking about it all the time, and during the past few years everything that is possible was done to involve the Kurdish political forces in the settlement of the situation, in particular in Syria,” she said.
Numerous representatives of various Kurdish political forces have confirmed their participation in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, she went on.
According to her, changes in the participant list are being made constantly. “I can say that numerous representatives of various Kurdish political forces have already confirmed their participation,” the Russian diplomat said.
On Monday Lavrov stated that Kurdish representatives were included in the list of Syrians invited to the Syrian Congress on National Dialogue in Sochi that will be held on January 29-30, but did not specify which organizations Kurds will represent. Turkish TV channel CNN Turk reported, citing a source in the republic’s foreign ministry, that Kurds from the Democratic Union Party will not take part in the forum.
On January 20, the Turkish General Staff declared the start of Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units and the Democratic Union Party in Syria’s Afrin inhabited by about 1.5 mln Kurds. On January 25, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim reported the liquidation of more than 300 terrorists. Kurds have been conducting missile attacks over bordering Turkish towns in response to the artillery and air strikes.
Journalists from 26 countries seek accreditation to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, she said.
“We have received accreditation applications from about 500 journalists who work for both foreign and Russian media outlets,” she said, adding that applicants represented 26 countries.
Zakharova stressed that taking into account the importance of the upcoming event, accredited foreign journalists would receive all the necessary assistance as far as the issuance of visas was concerned. “Accredited journalists will need to bring their accreditation credentials to our embassy or consulate general,” she said. “Instructions have been sent to all of our diplomatic missions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman noted.
“We will ensure that the work is being done at a high level, as always,” Zakharova stressed.