As Federal Syria Idea Is Floated, Russia Says Kurds Should Have Spot At Peace Talks Table

Kurdish man wears a knitted hat with the Kurdish national flag during a memorial festival for the late Sheikh Mahmood Alhafeed, in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil, 11 April 2006

The Jerusalem Post reports: MOSCOW – Russia is convinced the United Nations peace mediator on Syria Staffan de Mistura should take a decision on including ethnic Kurds in Syria peace talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Holding the peace talks without the participation of Kurds would be a “demonstration of weakness” by the international community, Lavrov told a news briefing.

Major powers close to the UN-brokered peace talks on Syria are discussing the possibility of a federal division of the war-torn country that would maintain its unity as a single state while granting broad autonomy to regional authorities, diplomats said.

The resumption of Geneva peace talks is coinciding with the fifth anniversary of a conflict that began with protests against President Bashar Assad before descending into a multi-sided civil war that has drawn in foreign governments and allowed the growth of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

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