UN Invites Syria to Geneva Talks; Who Will Attend?


The United Nations (UN) has asked warring parties in Syria to come together at the Geneva talks on Friday.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, sent out invitations for the discussion. While the Syrian government has already agreed to attend the summit, there have been disputes over the representation of the opposition.

Russia wants the Kurdish Democratic Union Party to be part of the talks. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, believes PYD represents the Syrian society.

Turkey, on the contrary, does not support PYD to be part of the Geneva talks. It does not want PYD’s armed wing, the People’s Protection Units, to take part in the summit either.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened to boycott the talks if the PYD is invited.

According to Al Jazeera, PYD leader Salem Muslim has not been invited to the Geneva talks. The opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, which will decide on Wednesday if it will take part, believes PYD should be part of the government delegation.

De Mistura disclosed that the talks will start on January 29. He said at a press conference on Monday that the talks are expected to go on for six months.

The UN special envoy said the discussions would aim to try to come to a settlement for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria. While the ceasefire will involve all opposition factions, it will exclude militant groups like al-Nusra and Islamic State.

Senior UN relief official in Syria earlier insisted on a political solution. According to them, the Syrian people are starting to lose hope that the world cares for them.

“The failure in Syria is most definitely not the humanitarian organizations’ failure, it is a political failure,” John Ging, the Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in Geneva at a press briefing.

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