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Syria war: Kurdish hopes for Geneva peace talks

We want Syria to be neutral, a home for all.

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Syria war: Kurdish hopes for Geneva peace talks

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We want Syria to be neutral, a home for all. The hopes of one Kurdish representative, as opposing sides in the country’s bloody war attend UN peace talks in Geneva.

Other Kurdish officials have reportedly called for local administrations in Syria’s north to be included, saying the talks will fail otherwise.

“We see Syria as a neutral state not attached to any class or category of Syrian people, not an Arab country nor Kurdish, or an Assyrian country. Syria should be a home for all the people. It must be neutral and not belong to a specific religion. There must be a separation between religion and state,” said Hawas Khalil, Kurdish National Council representative, told Euronews in Geneva.

Kurds have been aiming to cement autonomy of areas in northern Syria, where groups have already carved out self-governing regions since the war started back in 2011. But Kurdish leaders have said an independent state is not their aim.

UN mediator Staffan de Mistura has handed a working paper on procedural issues to delegations at the Geneva talks, but there appeared little prospect of them meeting directly soon.