December 30, 2016 / 3:21 PM / 2 years ago

Turkey says Kurdish YPG should not be involved in Syria talks

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference after the talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow, Russia, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey would welcome the United States at Syrian peace talks planned in Astana, Kazakhstan, but the Kurdish YPG militia should not be involved, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

“From the start, we have told Russia that a terrorist organisation like the YPG should not be in Astana,” Cavusoglu told reporters in the southern city of Alanya, in comments broadcast live on television.

“If the PYD/YPG lays down arms and starts supporting Syrian territorial integrity, they can be included within the framework of a comprehensive solution,” he said.

A Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire went into effect in Syria at midnight, meant as a first step towards peace talks to be hosted by Russia’s ally Kazakhstan.

Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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