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Russian deputy foreign minister says Syrian opposition delegation to be lame without Kurds

A Syrian opposition delegation will be lame without Kurds. The opinion of the Kurdish minority should be taken into account, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian president's special envoy for the Middle East and Africa, told TASS on Monday.

"We have always insisted that the Syrian opposition delegation should include Kurdish representatives. We believe that the absence of the Kurds at the negotiating table is damaging," Bogdanov said.

At the same time, Bogdanov noted that UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, who is representing Russia at the Syria Peace Talks, maintained contacts with the Kurds this way or another.

"This way or another, the Kurds are involved in these contacts. Their opinion should be taken into account. They are a real force both at the political stage and on the ground. They should participate in all the agreements on humanitarian issues and problems linked to fight against terrorism," Bogdanov explained.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 01Feb16]

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