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Rojava welcomes border opening, hoping for trade with outside world

By Rudaw 9/6/2016
The Semelka crossing border between Rojava and Kurdistan Region of Iraq. AFP file photo.
The Semelka crossing border between Rojava and Kurdistan Region of Iraq. AFP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Deputy trade minister of the Jazira Canton of Syria’s autonomous Kurdish administration (Rojava) welcomed the opening of the Semelka border crossing on Thursday, hoping that it will lead to trade exchange with the outside world.

“We hope it will remain open and become an official border crossing between Rojava and south Kurdistan,” Jamal Amin Hamo, deputy trade minister of Jazira canton told Rudaw TV from Derbasiye.

Hamo added, “We were hoping that the opening would be different, for our businessmen to bring goods and items into Rojava and sell it cheap to people here.”

The Kurdish government officially opened the Semelka border crossing on Wednesday “to transfer medicine, food and humanitarian needs,” Hamid Darbandi, in charge of the border crossing told Rudaw.

Darbandi also explained that the transported goods will be cheap and tax-free in order to help the people of Rojava, insisting that neither Kurdistan Region nor Rojava officials have the right to receive tax from the trade. 

For his part, Hamo of the Jazira Canton said that his administration was seeking a variety of trade across the border “not medicine and food supplies only.”

He revealed that before its closure in March the Semelka border “did great for people’s lives”

Meanwhile, he denied having imposed heavy tariff on incoming food supplies from the Kurdistan Region: “It is not a matter of whether there is tariffs or not. Even in the past the tariffs our administration had imposed on goods was a penny. 1000 Syrian lira for each ton.”

He added: “In the last two months we have removed all tariffs on food items.”

According to Hamo food and other supplies were never a big issue in Rojava, being able to obtain them from other parts of Syria, saying that they rather seek trade in order to help the economy by exporting the region’s rich agricultural products.

“Our Jazira Canton is an agricultural area and all our harvest is left here with the farmers,” he explained. “We wanted these farm products to enter the Kurdistan Region and from there to elsewhere. We want to help our farmers.”


Perri | 9/6/2016
The "trade minister" of Jazeera canton? and the outside world? is another part of Kurdistan suddenly the "outside world"? What are we going to do about these greedy corrupt political failures(parties)? Are we really just going to sit back and watch them waste yet another historical opportunity? We have once a lifetime shot of securing at least a part of our beloved homeland (Basur and Rojava) and that window is closing fast
Help the Ezidis | 9/6/2016
Great news and also excellent that Rudaw writes about "Syria’s autonomous Kurdish administration (Rojava)"! About the differences of the past: sure that they exist, but forget these differences and enjoy the opening!
K | 9/6/2016
The best move and Kurdish unity hope. Truly exciting...We need consume our own goods and if both sides can help each other commerially and politically, Kurdistan will thrive. Yes; truly exciting news......
Muraz Adzhoev | 9/6/2016
Those so called "cantonal officials" and "cantonal administrations" must provide and promote implementation of the political will and national desire of the Kurdish people and other communities for territorial, socio-cultural and humanitarian reintegration of Western Krdistan region with Southern Kurdistan region in order to establish united, democratic and secular federative Kurdistan. What are they talking about and do they think of currently have nothing to do with the main goal of the greatest national importance and significance. Those (PYD-PKK) "cantonal administrations" are not able to be policy-makers and decision-makers, because have not been authorized and are not supported by the majority of the sovereign PEOPLE of Western Kurdistan.
Guest | 9/6/2016

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