Syria seeks to step up dialogue with Kurds
THE Syrian government hopes dialogue with Syrian Kurdish groups will intensify, a minister said yesterday, signalling support for talks the Kurds hope will lead to a political deal between two of the main players in the multi-sided war.
The Kurds have sought Russian mediation for the talks with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, part of their strategy to fill a vacuum that will be left when US forces withdraw from the country, as instructed by President Donald Trump.
Their aim is to guard against any invasion by neighbouring Turkey, which views the main Syrian Kurdish group, the YPG, as a national security threat, and to preserve autonomy in northern Syria.
“We hope for the intensification of the dialogue. Many of the Kurdish statements were positive regarding their concern for the unity of Syria,” Assistant Syrian Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan said in Damascus.
“We are confident that through dialogue we can deal with some of the demands and this dialogue guarantees that, as long as it based on a commitment to Syria’s unity.”
A political deal could piece back together the two biggest chunks of a country splintered by eight years of war, leaving one corner of the northwest in the hands of anti-Assad rebels backed by Turkey, an adversary of both the Kurds and Damascus.
A Kurdish politician said this month that the leadership of northern Syria had presented Russia with a road map for a deal.
Sousan said intensified dialogue was important when set against challenges, “especially the expansionist ambitions that lead the policies of the Turkish regime”.
Russia said on Friday it was important for Syria’s Kurds and government to start talking in light of US plans. | Reuters