Syrian govt hopes talks with Kurds will intensify: Minister
damascus — The Syrian government hopes dialogue with Syrian Kurdish groups will intensify, a minister said on Sunday, signalling support for talks the Kurds hope will lead to a political deal between two of the main players in the multi-sided war.
The Kurds have sought Russian meditation for the talks with President Bashar Al Assad’s government, part of their strategy to fill a vacuum that will be left when US forces withdraw from the country, as instructed by US President Donald Trump.
Their aim is to guard against any invasion by neighbouring Turkey, which views the main Syrian Kurdish group — the YPG — as a national security threat, and to preserve autonomy in northern Syria.
“We hope for the intensification of the dialogue. Many of the Kurdish statements were positive regarding their concern for the unity of Syria,” Assistant Syrian Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan told a small group of journalists in Damascus.
“We are confident that through dialogue we can deal with some of the demands ... and this dialogue guarantees that, as long as it based on a commitment to Syria’s unity.”
A political deal could piece back together the two biggest chunks of a country splintered by eight years of war, leaving one corner of the northwest in the hands of antiAssad rebels backed by Turkey — an adversary of both the YPG and Damascus.
A Syrian soldier gestures as he sits with comrades atop a tank being transported near the northern town of Manbij. —