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Pro-Kurdish party deputy chairman: Russia, Turkey can resolve crisis by diplomatic means

December 22, 2015, 21:55 UTC+3 ANKARA

Selahattin Demirtas plans to travel to Moscow on December 23 and meet with Lavrov and other Russian officials

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ANKARA, December 22. /TASS/. The leaders of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party hope to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and contribute to reducing tensions between Ankara and Moscow, the party’s deputy chairman for foreign relations Nazmi Gur told TASS on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the party’s co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas told the Turkish television that he planned to travel to Moscow on December 23 and meet with Lavrov and other Russian officials. "We have already sent inquiries on the meeting with Lavrov. I hope we will hold talks during the visit. We intend to discuss relations between the two countries, the situation in the Middle East and to share our thoughts," Gur said. Concerning the crisis in the bilateral relations, he noted that the People’s Democratic Party "could contribute to resolving the current problems."

"Russian President Vladimir Putin said that our peoples were not each other’s enemies. We are convinced that Turks and Russians are friends. We have a very strong relationship. Russia is Turkey’s second largest trading partner after the EU. The current crisis can be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. We expect to make our own contribution to mitigating the problems," he said.

According to Gur, Demirtas has no plans to open the party’s office in Moscow, even though the Turkish media reported this. "All this was misinterpreted. Yes, we have an idea of opening a representative office, but it has not taken a final shape yet. While in Moscow, Mr. Demirtas will take part in the opening of the Society of Kurdish Business People," he said.

Speaking about the initiatives the party intended to propose to the Russian side in the Syrian settlement, Gur recalled that "the UN Security Council had recently taken most important decisions on this score." "We believe that this UN resolution is important for Syria’s future. It identified the need for holding elections, the political process and ending the civil war. In our view, Russia can play a big role in the settlement and in the fight against terrorism. And we will talk about this," he said.

The People’s Democratic Party considers the Kurds one of the most effective forces for resolving the conflict in Syria. "The Democratic Unity Party and the Democratic Forces of Syria alliance created recently (includes the Kurdish self-defense units — TASS) are the ones capable of consolidating the opposition. They are equidistant from many religious and political problems, so they will be able to take into consideration the interests of the broad sections of the population and make a substantial contribution to resolving the Syrian crisis," Gur said.

Following parliamentary elections on June 7, the People’s Democratic Party won parliamentary seats for the first time overcoming the electoral barrier. It became the fourth party represented in parliament over the past 12 years. The party repeated its success during the early elections on November 1.

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