KURDISH solidarity campaigners urged the government yesterday to stop undermining efforts to bring peace and stability to the region through its relationship with Turkey.
Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign co-secretary Rosa Gilbert was speaking as the foreign affairs committee launched its inquiry into “Kurdish aspirations and the interests of the UK” following the defeat of Isis in Syria and Iraq.
The committee will ask the Foreign Office to account for which Kurdish groups Britain has supported in the war against Isis and why, including the type of support it has given and how it could affect the situation on the ground.
It focused largely on the relationship with Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
The committee quizzed a number of academics during its first session in Portcullis House, London, and invited written submissions to inform its final report.
However, Ms Gilbert told the Star that, while the discussion was welcome, it should acknowledge that the British government continues to undermine efforts to build peace in the Kurdish region through its support for the increasingly authoritarian Turkish regime.
“The Turkish military continues to attack the predominantly Kurdish Afrin in northern Syria, risking the lives not just of civilians but the many thousands of internally displaced Syrians currently seeking refuge there.
“The government insists on selling weapons and encouraging trade links with Turkey while many British nationals have joined the YPG struggle against Isis, with six losing their lives.”
Ms Gilbert said Britain should stop selling arms to Turkey and ensure that the YPG has a seat at the table in Syrian peace talks.