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Lavrov says Kurdish issue must not inflame tensions in the region

Lavrov stressed that the Kurdish issue in Syria is a problem that cannot be neglected

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. The Kurdish issue in Syria must not exacerbate tensions in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.

"The Kurds are living in Iraq and in Iran, and certainly, a huge number of the Kurds are living in Turkey. Nobody wants this region to "explode" over tensions around the Kurdish issue, and no one wants the Kurds to feel like they are secondary citizens," Lavrov said.

Russia’s top diplomat stressed that the Kurdish issue in Syria is a problem that cannot be neglected. "This is a much broader issue than just in the dimension of the Syrian crisis," Lavrov noted.

According to Lavrov, Russia has created conditions, which will make it possible to "agree on the Kurds’ fate in Syria calmly rather than in pauses between combat actions."

On October 9, Ankara launched a military incursion into northern Syria, codenaming it Operation Peace Spring with the goal of creating a buffer zone there. According to Turkish plans, it should ensure security along the Turkish border, where Syrian refugees could resettle from Turkey.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum at a summit in Sochi on joint efforts in northeastern Syria. The document stipulated that Russian military police and Syrian troops should be deployed to the areas near the Turkish operation’s zone on October 23. Kurdish units were given 150 hours to withdraw from the 30-kilometer zone along the Turkish border, after which the Russian and Turkish military servicemen were due to start conducting joint patrols. These missions are expected to be launched on Friday.