MOSCOW – In an unprecedented step, a main Kurdish party announced on Wednesday the inauguration of the first representation office for Syrian Kurds in the Russian capital Moscow.
This comes amid efforts by the Russian government to include Syria’s Kurds in the ongoing Geneva peace talks despite Turkey’s objection.
“This is a historical moment for the Kurdish people,” Merab Shamoyev, chairman of the International Union of Kurdish Public Associations, said at the opening ceremony for the office in Moscow.
“Russia is a great power and an important actor in the Middle East,” Shamoyev said, adding that the opening of the representation was a “big political step” for Syrian Kurds.
Most of those present at the ceremony had ties to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), according to Shamoyev.
The PYD is considered a main party fighting ISIS in northern Syria through its armed wing of the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The recent victories of the YPG against ISIS have raised Turkish concerns, which considers the PYD as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) –which is in conflict with the Turkish army.
Moscow has earlier said that the Syria peace talks in Geneva could not lead to actual results without the participation of the Kurds. However, the PYD was not invited to the negotiations after Turkey’s objection.
Reporting by: Renas Hamo
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