Kurds should be at Saudi-held Syria opposition meet - leader

The PYD is expected to be represented via the National Coordination Body.

Beirut: Syrian Kurds need political and military representation at a Syrian opposition conference organised by Saudi Arabia next month because they are a main partner fighting Islamic State and important to Syria`s future, a Syrian Kurdish leader said.

Saudi Arabia says it is in contact with opposition groups about a potential meeting in the kingdom to unify their position ahead of upcoming peace talks. Some groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are wary of the Kurds, whom they see as collaborating with Damascus, a charge they deny.

Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said no official invitations for the conference had been received yet but that the PYD expected to be represented via the National Coordination Body, a broader internal opposition group.

What was more important was representation of armed factions, Muslim said. This meant the Democratic Forces of Syria, a new U.S.-backed coalition force involving the Kurdish YPG militia and Arab fighters, must be allowed to attend.

"They are the main partner against Daesh (Islamic State). Those forces are taking the areas liberated from the regime and from Daesh, so this group should be a part of it," he told Reuters by telephone, describing the new armed alliance as "a project for the future of Syria".

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