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Hollande-PYD meeting challenges Erdogan

French President Francois Hollande, by hosting at Elysee Palace two Kurdish female leaders from Kobani, sends a strong message to Ankara.
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French President Francois Hollande has initiated a diplomatic move strongly challenging President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who considers the Syrian Kurds' People's Protection Units (YPG) in the self-styled Rojava canton to be a terror organization and who is seriously disturbed by the US military assistance to the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State (IS). On Feb. 8 at the Elysee Palace, Hollande hosted Asya Abdullah, the co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD); Nesrin Abdullah, the commander of the YPJ (YPG’s women units); and Khaled Issa, the PYD representative in France. The meeting was held at the personal and official invitation of Hollande. Aysa Abdullah attended the meeting in her traditional Kurdish costume and Nesrin Abdullah in her combat uniform. Accounts differ, but the two Kurdish women reportedly flew from Erbil to Paris in a private plane sent by France or on a scheduled flight with all expenses paid.

Even more significant was the dissemination of photographs of the meeting that put on record recognition of the Kurdish identity, Kurdish political entity and Kurdish defense forces by French leaders through the website of the Elysee Palace.

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