New Syrian interim government excludes Kurds

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Members of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) meeting in Istanbul. File photo: AFP

ARA News 

QAMISHLI  A new Syrian interim government was formed this week backed by the Syrian opposition. However, no Kurd was included in the new administration.

In May, Jawad abu Hatab replaced Ahmad Touma as the new president of the Syrian interim government. He formed a new government, including seven ministers and a deputy prime minister. The administration is expected to operate in the opposition-held areas in Syria.

“The new Syrian opposition government doesn’t include any member of KNC [Kurdish National Council]. Thus the KNC announced that they don’t want to join this cabinet,” KNC member Zara Salih told ARA News. 

However, he said this doesn’t mean that the KNC is leaving the Syrian National Coalition, although the coalition does not recognize any Kurdish rights, such as federalism. 

“They don’t recognize the Kurdish rights,” Salih said. “The KNC needs a clear position on the chauvinism of the Syrian coalition, and the best thing to do is to withdraw from this coalition, and reach an emergency deal with TEV-DEM [PYD-linked Democratic Society Movement],” the Kurdish politician told ARA News. “Especially after the changes in Turkey’s position, the only way to survive is to work as Kurds together.” 

“The Syrian coalition sees federalism as the division of Syria,” Salih said. “We don’t expect anything positive from them. KNC and PYD [Democratic Union Party] now both see federalism as the best solution, so they should work together at this point.”

Despite this, the KNC and PYD fail to share power, after both sides did not implement the so-called Duhok agreement in November 2014. 

Last March, the PYD and it’s allies announced the preparations for a new federal system in northern Syria, while the KNC remained a member in the Syrian Coalition and participated in the Geneva peace talks. 

The KNC refused to acknowledge the new federal system, although they demanded federalism in Syria before the PYD.

The KNC parties often accused the PYD of working with the Syrian government, this while the PYD accused the KNC of working for the interest of Turkey.

“From the beginning, when we do any step, they [KNC] stand against it (…). We see a Turkish attitude in this,” Diyar Qamislo, a member of the diplomatic relations office of TEV-DEM, told ARA News. 

“The KNC is used by outside powers, they have offices in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. Also, they are a member of the Syrian coalition. When the crisis started, they said we will liberate the areas from Qamishli [northeast Syria] until Daraa [south Syria]. Now we fight terrorism in Manbij, and they tell us we have no business to fight in Arab areas like Manbij. This is a contradiction,” he said. 

“We accept if other parties criticize us, let them come join us, and share power. If they want to stand against us, they can be against us in the parliament,” he added.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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