Since other opposition groups have been included in the Geneva dialog, why not the Kurds?
Many groups within Syria do not share the Baath party ideology, but they have not been subjected to the same degree of exclusion as the Syrian Kurds. Even the opposition group from Riyadh attended the talks.
It was not surprising that after the last rejection, the Kurdish people held their own independent conference consisting of over 30 political parties, where the regional Constituent Assembly drafted a declaration on “the establishment of the Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”.
This agreement outlined a “management system” for their designated region, but they were clear that it was not a declaration of succession. They reaffirmed their unity with all the people of Syria and their desire to co-exist in peace.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov stated,
“The Kurds should have been involved in the talks from the very beginning, the issues should have been discussed with other participants in the talks who represent both the government and the opposition.”
“They need to discuss all these issues within the framework of the political process and develop a new Constitution, which could suggest a particular form of government. However, all this should be the product of an inclusive political dialogue with the participation of absolutely all groups of the Syrian society. All population groups should enjoy equal rights.”
Sergei Lavrov rightly observed that,
“Kurds, including the Democratic Union (party) headed by Saleh Moslem, control, in accordance with common estimates, at least 15% of the territory where they live in peaceful times.”
“Now, when Kurds have become allies to the US-led coalition and Russia in the fight against Islamic State and Jebhat al-Nusra, they (Kurds) have strengthened their influence ‘on the ground’, their positions.”
“Starting talks without this group is a demonstration of weakness.”
“Very dangerous prospects are on the conscience of those who will promote such an approach. Excluding Kurds from the process will feed the attitudes of those forces among them that prefer not to remain in the framework of Syria but rather think of some kind of separation.”
Reading the daily reports from the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic, one will discover that there are a surprising number of Syrians fighting against the state. Some were willing to collude with Da’esh and al Nusra in their efforts to overthrow the Baath regime. Significant numbers among the opposition have signed ceasefire agreements since the implementation of the “cessation of hostilities”. However, the original root cause of hostility remains an outstanding issue that requires a just and permanent political solution.
On the other hand, from the outset of the war, the Syrian Kurdish community were consistent in their fierce opposition to all terrorist groups and their active defense of Syria and the Syrian people. They fought with the Syrian Army, not against it.
If there is to be lasting peace in Syria, no one can be marginalized or ignored.
If Syria is to avoid territorial “balkanization”, the government must permit genuine inclusive dialog with all political parties.
That the Kurdish people be invited to Geneva is not only their right, but the moral imperative of all states and organizations engaged in the process of Syrian peace negotiations.
Saleh Moslem’s comments below reveal how much the Rojava representatives wish to dialog in good faith with the Syrian government. But if their appeal for inclusion is denied again, there will be consequences.
“If the representatives of Rojava do not attend the 2nd round of talks we will have no obligation to implement the decisions taken there.”
This stance is reasonable and just. No party should be forced to abide by any treaty or agreement if they have been excluded from the process of its creation.
We have witnessed the same righteous protest from the Libyan tribes in their rejection of the exclusive, undemocratic and unjust UNSMIL-brokered Shirkat agreement. In their case we also have a parallel process operating covertly, manipulating circumstances to serve the agenda of other nations with “interests” in Libya, who employ coercion and other diabolical tactics, to deny acknowledgment of the authority and legitimacy of the tribes, seeking their absolute annihilation via “integration” and “assimilation”, so that they disappear as unique and sovereign entities within the apparatus of the state.
Is this not, at its very heart, the essence of imperialism and neocolonialism?
PYD Co-Chair Moslem: If Rojava Representatives are not Invited to Geneva…
Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-chair Saleh Moslem has said they have not yet received an invitation to the 2nd round of talks at the Geneva III meeting. Moslem stated they would have no obligation to implement the decisions taken if they were not invited. “There can be no resolution with documents written in a Baath mentality” said Moslem, before going on to state, “We are struggling for the construction of a decentralised Syria.”
We expected changes
Speaking to ANHA News Agency, the leader of the biggest party in Rojava said they expected important and substantial changes to occur in the 2nd round of talks at Geneva. “UN Special Envoy Steffan De Mistura has said that the decree written by him doesn’t differentiate between parties. This document is not official. In it he has just listed his thoughts on the 1st round of talks. All the main headings in the document are important things that are not difficult to realise,” said Moslem.
Documents written up with a Baathist mentality will not bring about resolution
Moslem also emphasised that they were struggling for the construction of a democratic Syria that is not centralised, and stated, “This has not been written in the De Mistura’s document. This is of course normal, because the document has been formed from the mentality of individuals like Esad El Zubi, Mihemed Elus and Besar Al Ceferi. For this reason I don’t think discussions will continue in the same manner. If they do there will be no resolution. We want the direction of talks to change so that a more suitable environment is created.”
If we are not at talks we will not implement decisions
The Democratic Union Party co-chair also reiterated that those attending the meeting did not have a political and peaceful project to end the crisis in Syria before going onto say, “If the representatives of Rojava do not attend the 2nd round of talks we will have no obligation to implement the decisions taken there.”
The 2nd round of talks at Geneva III are expected to begin on 9 April.