Several Kurdish sources have suggested the co-chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in northern Syria, Saleh Muslim, received an official invitation from UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to attend the Geneva III talks, which are expected to be held in the coming days.
The invitation comes in light of the ongoing heated political dispute in the back halls of the anticipated Geneva negotiations, one aspect of which is related to Russia’s attempt to impose specific names on the opposition’s representation at Geneva. The Syrian opposition has publicly rejected the move, stressing that the High Committee for Negotiations emerging from the Riyadh conference is the only body with the right to form the negotiating delegation.
Muslim was at the top of the Russian list of names, which Lavrov has brought up at every opportunity, most recently burdening US Secretary of State John Kerry with these demands prior to Kerry’s meeting in Riyadh with the Saudis and the High Committee emerging from the Syrian opposition.
It is not known in what form or capacity Muslim will attend these meetings, as there has been no official comment or statement issued by any of the involved parties. Some sources have previously said that de Mistura may intervene in developing a consensus formula by inviting these people as part of his advisory delegation to the opposition.
It is expected that the High Committee will announce its position toward the invitation, especially after several of its representative figures rejected the presence of Saleh Muslim at Geneva III, most recently in the statements of George Sabra, deputy head of the High Committee, in an interview with an Arab channel. He said that the Democratic Union Party was loyal to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is categorized as a terrorist group, adding that the Committee rejects its presence at the peace talks.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.