DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 PM) – The Kurdish movement in Syria are only calling for a federalization of the Syrian Arab Republic, and is not looking for a partition of the country or an independent Syrian Kurdistan. This was said by recently elected co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Shahoz Hassan in an interview with Sputnik Turkiye.
“We are open for a dialogue with the central government. We do not want the partition of Syria, do not harbor plans of separating from the country and do not want to set up an independent Kurdistan. Such rumors are not true,” Hassan stated.
The PYD Chairman furthermore said that he considered the Syrian government’s declaration to be open to negotiations on the matter, as “late in coming”.
In September, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem had declared that “This topic [limited Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria] is open to negotiation and discussion and when we are done eliminating Daesh (ISIS) we can sit with our Kurdish counterparts and reach an understanding on a formula for the future.”
Commenting further on the conflict with ISIS that has been dragging on for six years now, Hassan stressed the importance of the Russian Federation in negotiations for the future.
“We think that Russia’s statements that any talks in Geneva or any other negotiation process are ineffective without Kurdish participation are very important. Russia can facilitate the settlement of the conflict, ensure that Kurds are invited. This could largely contribute to the settlement of the crisis and find a democratic, peaceful and political solution,” he said.
Regarding cooperation and coordination with the United States, Shahoz Hassan said that while there are regular meetings between US representatives and officers of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces, an armed alliance that consists mostly out of Kurdish fighters tied to the PYD), the level of coordination and cooperation between the two is far from the level desired by the Kurds.
Recently, the SDF has liberated the former ISIS “capital” of Raqqa from terrorist control, but at a terrible cost of civilian casualties and damage to the city that was mostly caused by continuous US aerial bombing raids.
Finally, regarding the September 25 referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, the PYD Chairman stated that while he supports Erbil’s right to organise such a plebiscite, it should have been done with better preparation and inclusion of several political forces.
“There should have been the opening of the parliament, the referendum should have been held when political and other issues were already solved. Yes, the Majlis was opened several days before the referendum, but not all of the parties had been invited. The process should have been more democratic, involving all the parties.”
Shahoz Hassan concluded however by saying that despite the fact that the relations between the PYD and the Iraqi Kurdish government of Masoud Barzani are far from good, the Syrian Kurds will continue to trade and provide aid to the Iraqi Kurdish region even if countries such as Iran, Turkey and Iraq were to decide to impose an embargo on the region.