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Russia Foreign Ministry urges Ankara to solve Kurdish problem politically

Moscow calls on Ankara to solve the Kurdish problem not by force, but using political methods, in order not to cause new victims, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"We have been watching with concern the escalation of violence in south-eastern Turkey caused by the ongoing military operation of the Turkish authorities in the Kurdish-populated provinces of the country," the ministry said in a commentary. "Human rights organisations have reported numerous casualties among the civilian population, including women and children."

A curfew is still in effect in some localities, the ministry said, the passage for all types of transport is closed. "Politicians, journalists and representatives of humanitarian organizations are not admitted to the area of ··the operation," the Foreign Ministry said. "Shortages of food and other essentials is observed in some areas, the situation is close to a humanitarian catastrophe. According to some data, the total number of internally displaced persons has exceeded 100,000 people".

Moscow calls on the Turkish government "to take the necessary steps to ensure the cessation of violence as soon as possible and resume the peace settlement process that had been interrupted in July 2015." "The solution to the Kurdish problem lies in the political sphere," said the Russian Foreign Ministry. "The use of force in the settlement of internal conflicts leads only to new casualties and aggravation of the situation with unpredictable consequences."

Semyon Bagdasarov, director of the Centre for the Study of the Middle East and Central Asia, told TASS previously that Turkey might be on the verge of a civil that will destabilize the situation in the country for years ahead. "The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) wanted to enlist Russia's support very much because a true civil war has broken out in southeastern Turkey. The Kurds need external support," Bagdasarov said commenting a visit to Moscow of Selahattin Demirtas, a co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish HDP party.

"As for Russia, it should have clear understanding that it should support the national liberation movement of the Kurdish people, including the HDP, if it wants to influence Turkey's stance," the Russian expert went on to say.

According to Bagdasarov, the civil war in the Kurdish-populated regions of southeastern Turkey will gain momentum. "The Turkish and U.S. leaderships will have to forget about Syria soon," he stressed. "The thing is that today the Iraqi government met a delegation of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Turkey) and promised to supply it with weapons. The situation in the region is turning into a full-scale armed conflict, and Turkey is becoming the object of a civil war, which will destabilize the situation in the country for years ahead," Bagdasarov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Dec15]

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