LJUBLJANA – The foreign affairs minister for Russia insisted on Wednesday that Ankara and Damascus needed to talk to reach a deal after the Turkish military’s recent incursion into a Kurdish enclave in Syria.
Speaking at a press conference in Ljubljana alongside his Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec, Sergey Lavrov said there needed to be dialogue centered around territorial integrity, insisting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime needed to negotiate with each side of the ongoing conflict, including the Kurds.
“These are the principles that we adhere to when working with every actor in Syria because this is what can help end the bloodshed and ensure the beginning of a sustainable settlement process,” he said, accusing the United States and the coalition it leads of complicating matters by supposedly supporting Kurdish autonomy in the north of Syria.
Washington backs the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are fighting against the Islamic State terror organization in Syria, but Ankara considers the group to be terrorists associated with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been staging a small-scale insurrection in Turkey for decades.
A spokesperson for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin, announced earlier on Wednesday that Turkey would be continuing its offensive in Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in Syria, despite the recent entry of troops loyal to Assad.