Turkey’s Erdoğan asks Putin to cut Kurds out of Syria talks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for groups linked to the mainly Kurdish Syrian militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to be kept out of political talks on the future of Syria, the Hürriyet newspaper said.

Presidency sources told the newspaper that during a telephone conversation, Erdoğan had also touched on economic relations, especially in the field of energy. The two countries last week agreed for a Russian company to build a gas pipeline overland through Turkey.

Erdoğan told Putin that the YPG and related Kurdish groups should be kept out of Syrian peace talks, and the two leaders agreed that Syria should not be allowed to become a battlefield for Israeli and Iranian proxies.

Both leaders also agreed that in future they should seek closer economic relations using local units of currency, in order to promote the use of the rouble and lira in place of the U.S. dollar.