TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A Russian-sponsored Syrian peace congress scheduled for Nov. 18 has been postponed and the main Syrian Kurdish group will not be invited if it is held later after objections by Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Sunday.
Asked for comment, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman referred to her regular weekly briefing on Thursday in which she said Moscow was working on “dates, venue, the participants’ lineup”. The list of expected participants, which included the Kurds, has since been deleted from the ministry’s website, Reuters reported.
The head of the Kurdish Democratic Party indicated last week that it favored attending the peace congress in what would be the first time the Kurds participate in a major diplomatic push to end the war in Syria.
“Russia told us that the meeting has now been postponed and that the PYD will not be invited,” Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said.
The PYD has emerged as one of the most powerful players in Syria since the war began in 2011 and has said it was invited to the meeting in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi.
Turkey views the PYD and its armed YPD affiliate as offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union.