Syria's Kurds leave Geneva after being excluded from peace talks

GENEVA -- The main Syrian opposition delegation left Saudi Arabia for Switzerland on Saturday, however it remained unclear whether the delegation would actually participate in UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending Syria's civil war.

See Full Article

The indirect peace talks began here Friday with a meeting between the United Nations envoy and the Syrian government delegation. The main opposition group, the Higher Negotiations Committee or HNC, boycotted that session saying it won't take part until a set of preliminary demands are met: releasing detainees, ending the bombardment of civilians by Russian and Syrian forces, and lifting government blockades on rebel-held areas.

The HNC later agreed to send a delegation to Geneva to meet with U.N. officials, while still insisting it would not negotiate until their demands are met. The HNC decision to send a team to Geneva gave a glimmer of hope that peace efforts in Syria might actually get off the ground for the first time since two earlier rounds of negotiations collapsed in 2014.

Meanwhile officials from Syria's largest Kurdish group left Geneva Saturday after being excluded from the negotiations, a Kurdish official and opposition figures said.

Saleh Muslim, co-president of the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, left when it became clear he would not be invited to participate, according to Kurdish official Nawaf Khalil.

The participation of the PYD has been a divisive issue in advance of the Geneva talks. Turkey, which has struggled with its own large Kurdish population, considers the PYD a terrorist organization and the HNC claims they are too close to the Syrian government.

Unlike other groups from outside the HNC that were invited as advisers, the PYD received no invitation from U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.

The move to exclude the PYD angered Qadri Jamil, a former Syrian deputy prime minister who has become a leading opposition figure but is not part of the HNC. Jamil said the PYD's military wing has been the most effective force on the ground in Syria fighting the Islamic State group.

"The PYD is a historic part of the Syrian democratic opposition and PYD today is fighting terrorism on the ground and it is a main force," Jamil told a group of journalists in Geneva on Saturday.

Jamil said they are working with the UN to resolve the crisis regarding the representation of the PYD.

Bassam Bitar of the opposition's Movement for a Pluralistic Society said the PYD will most likely be invited to take part in future rounds of negotiations.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Media will do anything to bash Trump - and now they're hurting

    World News Toronto Sun
    It was many years ago, but the memory lingers of the first time I was embarrassed to be a journalist. It was a steamy summer afternoon and reporters and photographers were shoehorned into a small Manhattan apartment for a civic group’s announcement. Source
  • Insane encyclopedia-gun video stunt ends with Minnesota woman killing boyfriend: Complaint

    World News Toronto Sun
    HALSTAD, Minn. — A Minnesota woman charged in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend told authorities it was a video stunt gone wrong. Monalisa Perez, of Halstad, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III. Source
  • Russia wages war of words with Britain over navy pride

    World News CTV News
    Moscow angrily lashed out Thursday at a dismissive comment about a Russian aircraft carrier made by Britain's defence secretary, arguing that its aging ship is better than the new British carrier. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said earlier this week that Russia will look at the British aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, with envy, pointing at Russia's "dilapidated" Admiral Kuznetsov carrier. Source
  • Police: Man cited for keeping wild deer in New York house

    World News CTV News
    White tail deer in a field near Great Falls, Mont., on March 14, 2006. (Great Falls Tribune, Robin Loznak / AP) Source
  • Revised Trump travel ban goes into effect tonight

    World News CBC News
    The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees who require a "close" family or business tie to the United States. The move comes the same week the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order, which was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims. Source
  • B.C. man says he used Facebook to express concerns, not support terrorists

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A British Columbia man accused of using his Facebook account to express support of "lone wolf" terrorists in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant says he was on social media to "shine a light" on atrocities in the Middle East. Source
  • Troubling study shows tens of thousands leaving Canada for health care due to long wait times [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Tens of thousands of Canadians are being forced to travel abroad to receive the healthcare they need. A new study released Thursday by the Fraser Institute estimates that 63,459 Canadians left the country for medical care last year. Source
  • Necropsies on up to 3 right whales planned on P.E.I.

    Canada News CBC News
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with a half dozen agencies to determine why at least six, and by one report seven, endangered right whales died recently in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.Dead right whales coming to P.E.I. Source
  • Big jump in number of people seeking medical care outside Canada: Study

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Tens of thousands of Canadians are being forced to travel abroad to receive the healthcare they need. A new study released Thursday by the Fraser Institute estimates that 63,459 Canadians left the country for medical care last year. Source
  • Iqaluit preps for arrival of Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall

    Canada News CTV News
    IQALUIT, Nunavut - Iqaluit is gearing up for the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who are expected to land today from the United Kingdom on a Canadian Forces Airbus. Source