The regions of northern and eastern Syria have recently witnessed a number of important developments, including the meeting of the National Unity Parties (PYNK) and the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) within the framework of discussions to achieve national unity, as well as the visit of the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey to the region, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party's Peshmerga establishment of the fortifications on the border between Rojava and Başûr.
To assess these developments and know the reality of what is happening, our agency held a dialogue with Aldar Khalil, the Member of the Co-Chairmanship of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The following is the text of the interview:
A meeting was held recently between the National Unity Parties and the Kurdish National Council within the framework of the meetings to achieve Kurdish unity. Where did the talks reach and what are the issues currently agreed upon?
The meetings between the Kurdish National Unity Parties and the Kurdish National Council began on the basis of the political document, and at that time, discussions were only taking place between the Democratic Union Party and the Kurdish National Council, but after the political vision became one, all PYNK parties joined it, and thus the party representing PYNK became 24 parties, and in this way the second stage of the meetings continued.
In the second stage there were three topics, firstly the reference, secondly the administration and thirdly the protection. With regard to the reference, we can say that it has been completed, there are no serious obstacles left, its work is to become the supreme Kurdish authority, and it will represent the Kurds in all aspects of society. It will represent the opinion of the Kurds in the administration, especially the Kurds of Rojava.
In terms of representation, we wanted everyone to take their place in this reference, and on this basis it was agreed that 40% of the members of the Kurdish reference are from PYNK Parties, 40% from ENKS, and 20% will represent parties outside the Kurdish National Unity Parties and the Kurdish National Council, but for the sake of choosing the 20% percentage, there were lengthy discussions about how to choose them, and in the end it was agreed that ENKS would suggest 10% names, and PYNK would provide 10%. Thus, the 100% percentage would be formed.
The number of reference members is 40, and will be distributed as follows: "16 people from PYNK Parties, 16 people from ENKS and 8 others, 4 chosen by PYNK and 4 by ENKS."
Then we entered the stage of discussing the administration, here it must be noted that the Kurdish National Council has been outside the region for the past years, and now it will join this administration that was formed years ago, and at this stage we discussed at length the method of joining, and we saw that organizing elections, and according to their results, ENKS must show the way of its join the Autonomous Administration, but ENKS made it clear that these elections will be difficult for it, and he said that it is not ready yet and the situation is not good for it, as it was seeking to join the administration before the elections.
Hence we say that a time must be set for the electoral process, and until the election process is conducted - for example if it is after 9 months or a year, this matter is discussed - and in order to identify the Autonomous Administration and how the administration works, representatives of the Kurdish National Council will take their places in some institutions of the administration, in agreement with the administration of course, and these places will be among the seats allocated to the Kurds although those who joined the administration came via elections, but in order to ensure the success and continuity of this agreement, we will request assistance from the administration, and the PYNK Parties have expressed their willingness to give them a number of places allocated for them for successful, I say this, but there is no agreement in this area yet, as discussions and meetings are still continuing on this topic.
In the event that this step succeeds, and to choose their members in the Executive Council, the Council of Justice and the Board of Directors in an appropriate manner and according to the principles and laws, a way will be searched for them to join, and this is still in the process of discussion.
According to what is being circulated in the media, there are points of disagreement among the interlocutors. What are the main points of disagreement and are the demands of the National Council accepted by the peoples of northern and eastern Syria?
There are some basic matters that have also been agreed upon and they must accept them, which are that the administration is not only for the Kurds, as there are Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and Turkmen in it. This administration has been able to make great gains because the administration itself is derived from the gains of the peoples of the region, and there are issues under discussion, such as the co-chairmanship, women's freedom and the adoption of management to the fraternity of peoples and co-existence among them as a basic starting point for them, and we will work together to develop this administration, and if they have proposals on the administration, we can discuss them, the stage of discussion of the administration is still in the process of discussion and has not been fully agreed upon.
The third stage is the discussion of the security and military issue, which has not yet been discussed, and if we reach this stage there are matters that must be discussed, as it is not possible to accept the presence of two military forces in the region, and this is in order to avoid mistakes and ensure that they will not happen.
Does the Kurdish National Council still not view Turkey as an occupying country of Syrian lands?
We know that there are relations between the Syrian Kurdish National Council with Turkey, and the council is still a member of the Syrian coalition, so I do not think that they will take any position at the moment when the talks among the Kurdish parties are ongoing..
The council is trying to move away from issues related to the Syrian coalition and Turkey, but we, in turn, are trying to be a party in finding a mechanism and ways to develop these dialogues, and to overcome the difficulties that face us, so we make all our efforts and there are some sensitive issues that we leave to the side of the council so that it can solve them in the future.
What is the relationship between the Kurdish unity meetings and the KDP deployment of its forces on the border near Semalka crossing?
While we are working to find ways to unify the Kurdish ranks, the Turkish state is attacking the Kurdish Revolutionary Forces in the mountains of Kurdistan on the borders of Başûr Kurdistan and Bakur Kurdistan, and at the same time attacking the villages of Başûr Kurdistan, and the matter has reached the point where the people of Başûr are no longer able to work within their lands, their fields and the benefit from their crops, and at the same time there are mobilization on the borders of Başûr - Rojava by the Peshmerga. In fact, we do not know what is the reason, these issues come at a time when we are working to achieve the unity of the Kurdish ranks, as we said and frankly, our hopes were different from this. We had hoped since the beginning of these dialogues to overcome all problems with Başûr Kurdistan, not the opposite of what is happening now, and we affirm that what is happening has generated contradictions within us.
The meeting coincided with the arrival of the American envoy, James Jeffrey, to the region and his meeting with the two parties. What was the conversation with Jeffrey about?
Jeffrey's visit was symbolic, and what was discussed was in the same context in which Americans only talk to the media, the discussions were in this context and no important discussions took place.
As we know, they do not speak clearly. Jeffrey confirmed during the meeting their support for the dialogues that are taking place among the parties, but regarding the threats to the region by Turkey, the answers were diplomatic, and as we said the visit was symbolic and Jeffrey's visit may be a message to the Russians, the Turks, or the regime or even it is a message to us, or political messages from the U.S. State Department, but as for the coordination between the coalition against ISIS and other issues, it continues, and it can be said that Jeffrey's visit is a message for the continuation of this support
To confirm again, Jeffrey's visit was to support the dialogues taking place among the Kurdish parties, and he did not clarify any other points about his visit.
After the meeting, parties began to promote that Jeffrey promised not to allow Turkey to launch attacks on the region. Is this a kind of special war for the people to reduce their defenses against the Turkish occupation?
Jeffrey did not say that they will not allow the Turks to attack the region. Rather, he said what America said, as you know when Turkey attacked Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî, an agreement was reached on a ceasefire, and America always says that it agreed with Turkey to a ceasefire and this agreement should not be violated, so we cannot base our hopes on those permits. Yes, these permits can be evaluated, but all hopes cannot be attributed to them.
The important thing at this stage is that we are ready for everything that happens or will happen in the coming days, and on this basis, our people in north and east Syria must be careful. As we know, Erdogan is trying again and again to attack and occupy the region, and we must know well that Erdogan is our neighbor and not we cannot trust any statement.
After the meeting, it was said that a delegation from the National Council will go to the Russian capital, Moscow, and then it was said that it is in Istanbul. How do you explain this and what do you say?
Regarding the issue of the visit of the Kurdish National Council delegation to Moscow or Istanbul, we do not have any accurate information, we also heard about it from the media, and frankly they did not inform us of anything in this regard.
It is acceptable for the Council to have external meetings and dialogues, but we hope that these meetings and dialogues will not be at the expense of the gains of the Kurdish people, and also that the talks that take place among the Kurdish parties do not enter into bargains, but we do not expect Turkey to have positive attitudes towards the Kurdish people.
Finally, what is the level of your relations with the Syrian government and the intervening parties in Syria?
As everyone knows, we represent the third line, and in this line our project is clear, in fact what is happening is a third world war that all parties share, so we have a relationship with all parties, and we are trying to find a solution to the Syrian crisis with all the interfering parties in Syria; Damascus and the Russians that support it, and have forces on the ground as well, and at the same time they have influence on the global level.
We also have dialogues with the international coalition which includes 78 countries. We have dialogues with Russia. During the past days, the Syrian Democratic Council visited Russia and met with the Russian Foreign Ministry, and also one of the opposition parties close to Russia signed an agreement with the Syrian Democratic Council, and this agreement was a positive attitude for a democratic and peaceful solution, and on this basis we have a coordinated rapprochement with all parties and we do not work against any of them. As for the regime, so far, there are no dialogues or meetings at the present time.