Russia says Kurds must be part of future Syrian peace talks: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia believes that ethnic Syrian Kurds must be included in any future Syrian peace talks, the RIA news agency said on Wednesday, quoting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov.

“We support the participation of a wide circle of opposition forces, which represent the Syrian people, in the Syrian negotiating process. The Kurds, certainly, must not be excluded from this process,” RIA quoted Meshkov as saying in an interview.

The Saudi government recently initiated talks among various Syrian groups fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) was not invited, nor was the newly established Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Shortly after this snub by Riyadh the SDF formed its own political wing.

The YPG has been the most effective ground force against ISIS in Syria and has enjoyed close US air support.

Since the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey last month there have been reports of Russian military support to the YPG as well.