C. Asian states downplay ‘Russia proposal’ to send troops to Syria

Updated 24 June 2017
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C. Asian states downplay ‘Russia proposal’ to send troops to Syria

BISHKEK: Ex-Soviet Central Asia countries Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Friday downplayed reported proposals from Moscow to send their troops to assist in peacemaking efforts in Syria.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdyrakmanov said the oil-rich Central Asian country was “not negotiating with anybody” on sending soldiers to Syria to police de-escalation zones.
Abdyrakmanov’s comments came after Vladimir Shamanov, head of Russia’s lower house of Parliament’s defense committee, told RIA Novosti news agency that Moscow had made “proposals to our colleagues from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan” on the subject.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also said Thursday: “There is even a suggestion from the Russians: Maybe Kyrgyz, the Kazakhs could send a certain number of forces.”
Kazakhstan said diplomats would “discuss this and other questions” on July 4-5 at upcoming Syria peace talks spearheaded by Russia in the country’s capital of Astana.
But he stressed that the UN Security Council would need to approve such a move.
“A crucially important condition for our country to consider the possibility of sending its peacekeepers to any conflict zone ... is a UN Security Council resolution and the necessary mandate,” he said.
The secretary of Kyrygzstan’s national security committee Temir Djumakadyrov said “the question had been raised” within the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led security bloc, but that there were “no negotiations” at present.
“We have received no official proposals from Russia concerning the transfer of our troops to Syria,” Djumakadyrov told AFP by telephone.
The country’s Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev told Russia’s Interfax news agency that the question was not discussed when Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev met Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week.
Daesh and other militant groups have gained thousands of recruits from the mainly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.


Syria Kurds reject ‘security zone’ under Turkish control

Updated 35 min 17 sec ago
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Syria Kurds reject ‘security zone’ under Turkish control

  • Syria’s Kurds rejected a US proposal for a “security zone” under Turkish control
  • Senior political leader said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces

QAMISHLI: Syria’s Kurds on Wednesday rejected a US proposal for a “security zone” under Turkish control along the Syrian side of the two countries’ border.
Senior political leader Aldar Khalil said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces along the separation line between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops to ward off a threatened offensive.
“Other choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and the sovereignty of our autonomous region,” Khalil told AFP.