KDP President Masoud Barzani (center left) meets with an ENKS delegation in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, on January 10, 2019. Photo: MB Office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdistan Democratic Party President (KDP) Masoud Barzani welcomed a leadership delegation of The National Council of Syrian Kurdistan (ENKS) on Thursday, calling on Barzani to help to get the voice of Syrian Kurds heard internationally.
Barzani welcomed a delegation of ENKS to Erbil, according to a readout from his office.
“In the meeting, the political situation and latest developments in Syria and the change in the equation on the ground in Syria were evaluated,” it read.
The ENKS delegation “expressed its anxiety” over the future of Kurds in Syria and their conditions.
ENKS is composed of a number of parties in Rojava, or Syrian Kurdistan. They are close to KDP, and they aren’t on good terms with the dominant Democratic Union Party (PYD) — the political wing of the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG). The soured relations have led to ENKS not being able to work freely in Syria with their offices typically closed.
Some of their leaders, like Ibrahim Biro, have been expelled from Rojava and into Iraqi Kurdistan. PYD claims they are close to Turkey.
Recently, the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Group) that is the PKK’s umbrella political group, issued a statement, urging unity among Kurds that paved the road for parties to return to Rojava and freely work.
The call is amid reoccurring Turkish threats to invade Rojava regardless of a US withdrawal. The United States has repeatedly said they want their Kurdish partners protected following an unspecified withdrawal of its troops.
ENKS thanked Barzani because he “has always been a supporter and caring” of Kurds in Syria.
Barzani issued a statement on December 20, expressing concern over the fate of Syrian Kurds, hoping they won’t face more harm.
In his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, Barzani specifically talked about the issue, saying he hopes for Syrian Kurds not to be harmed after the withdrawal.
“They asked for President Barzani to relay the voice and oppression of the Kurdish nation to international and diplomatic centers,” added the statement.
At the start of the conflict in Syria, PYD and ENKS enjoyed better relations; however, they soured as PYD gained power and ideological disagreements grew between the two.