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Syrian minister optimistic over Kurdish talks

by Reuters
Wednesday, 9 January 2019 13:06 GMT

DAMASCUS, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A Syrian government minister expressed optimism on Wednesday over dialogue with Kurdish groups that want to strike a political deal with Damascus, part of their efforts to stave off a threatened Turkish attack.

Faisal Mekdad, the Syrian deputy foreign minister, said "past experiences" with the Kurdish groups had not been "encouraging". But he signalled approval of recent statements by Kurdish groups affirming they are part of Syria, saying "the conditions" were favourable for them return to the state.

"Therefore I am always optimistic ... we encourage these political groups to be sincere in dialogue that is happening now between the Syrian state and these groups, taking into account that there is no alternative to that," he told a small group of journalists including Reuters. (Reporting by Kinda Makieh; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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