Turkey: Kurds have no place at UN talks
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the media after the EU - Turkey ministerial political dialogue meeting at Ankara Palace in Ankara on January 25, 2016. (AFP/Adem Altan)
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Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that any participation of Kurdish forces in upcoming Syria peace talks would be dangerous and undermine the UN talks, Associated Press reported.
Cavusoglu told reporters in a press conference that Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish forces "terrorists." The US and other coalition members have supported them in the international fight against Daesh in Syria. Russia also favors including Kurds in the talks.
The UN-backed peace talks, led by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, aims to facilitate an 18-month-long political transition, eventually culimating in democratic elections, that would end a nearly five-year-old civil war that has left more than 250,000 dead.
Turkey is currently involved in its own all-out offensive against PKK militants in Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey, and has also cracked down on activists and academics voicing concerns about civilian casualties in the ongoing military operation.
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