Pederson: SDF have pioneer role in Syria, must be invited to negotiations

The International Envoy for Syria, Geir O. Pederson, said that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are an important player in Syria and the subject of calling for them to the negotiations must continue to be discussed. He stressed that 5 armies are existed in Syria, noting the need to focus on the work and make sure of the prevention of clash, he added, "But the conflict has not finished yet, there are still other things, the roots of the conflict still exist."


In an interview with al-sharq al-Awsat newspaper, the International Envoy to Syria, Geir O. Pederson pointed out that SDF have become an important player in Syria and their invitation to the negotiating table must continue to be discussed. He pointed out that he is working on a "comprehensive approach." The agreement includes the rules of work in the committee and discussing the governance, constitution, elections under the supervision of the United Nations, security and counter-terrorism.

In his first interview with the media outlets since he took office at the beginning of the year, Pedersen said that delegating him under UN Resolution 2254 was to work on a constitutional reform and comprehensive UN-supervised elections, he added, "But it is very important not to make judgments about the outcome of the negotiations. It is not my role to say how the constitution will be. This is a Syrian sovereign decision."

He continued that his mission started to visit Damascus to meet with the Syrian government. After Damascus, I went to Riyadh to meet with the Syrian negotiating authority (the opposition). Resolution 2254 made clear that I work with both the government and the opposition to develop the relationship with them and between them, and to find ways of bringing together the two parties in order to launch substantive negotiations."

Pederson was asked about his position towards the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and he replied, "My mission in 2254 is clear. I deal with the government headed by the President al-Assad. The United Nations does not decide who is in the opposition or who is in the government nor the Syrian president. This is a Syrian matter."

Pedersen said, "There are five armies in Syria; America, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Israel. We have to focus on the action and make sure that the clash is prevented (between the external sides). This is an area where mistakes may occur and could lead to great and catastrophic consequences for Syria, and threaten the stability of the region and the world."

He also was asked about the Syrian-Kurdish "Syrian Democratic Forces" that control one-third of Syria and whether their representatives would be invited to the negotiating table, he replied, "They are an important player in north-east Syria. This is a subject that we must continue to discuss."



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