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Rudaw

Syria

Russian team proposes federal system in Syria as ‘only way,’ Kurdish officials say

By Rudaw 3/10/2016
Syrians hold up banners of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart President Bashar al-Assad. AP file photo.
Syrians hold up banners of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart President Bashar al-Assad. AP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A Russian delegation in Syria has told Kurdish and government representatives that establishing a federal system in the country is the only way to prevent Syria's partition, Kurdish diplomats who attended the meeting told Rudaw.

It also suggested that the country’s official name be changed from the Syrian Arab Republic to the Democratic Republic of Syria, the diplomats said.

"Only federalism can preserve Syria's unity as a country," the leader of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria, Salih Gado, told Rudaw, quoting Russian mediator Colonel Oldvornikov Alexandrovich, who is also the commander of Russian forces in Syria.

"The Russian delegation showed strong support for a federal system in the country and had a road-map to achieve that," said Gado, who represented the Kurdish administration at the September 17 meeting at the Hmeymim air base, south of Afrin city.

"I think it could be a historical achievement if it is realized. The Kurdish movement in Syria has not been able to secure such gains in the past 60 years," Gado said.

Russia has showed strong support for Kurdish inclusion in the Geneva talks over the Syrian conflict in March this year. It insisted that any future solution would require Kurdish participation. Moscow also is one of few European capitals that officially hosts a Syrian Kurdish office.

"The future of Syria is no longer in the hands of the government, the opposition or the Kurds. It is decided by the Russians and Americans," Gado said, believing that Moscow has Washington's blessing in establishing the federal system in Syria.

"The Americans do not want to confront Turkey or the Gulf states over Syria's partition, which is why they have delegated this role to the Russians and shown them the green light," Gado added.

But not all Kurdish factions are willing to rely on the Russian support; some question Moscow's sincerity.

Syrian Kurdish party official Ahmed Qasim told Rudaw the Russians could effectively push Damascus to declare a federal system in the country, even without Kurdish participation.

"Russia could take up this question with the regime since the real power is still in the hands of the country's president, who could easily change the system in Syria," Qasim said.

"But I'm afraid Moscow is not serious about their proposal," he added.  

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Sluth | 4/10/2016
I question the sincerity and maturity of anyone poster of Putin and Assad given the militarily pointless killing of civilians by these two individuals. That said, there is no other place to manoeuvre other than the proposed Federation model. I've been posting that view on this site for years now. Assad still controls a military force but real power no longer resides in Assad's hands. Real power is not in any case reflected by force of arms or in how many homes a despot can bomb. Real power is an ability to win hearts, minds and support from ordinary people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Do the people seek a large centralised government? Does anyone, anywhere want a centralised, autocratic government telling them what to do and how to live? Does anyone out there seek yet another self serving despot residing in yet another palace? Do the ordinary people (and honest investors) want another patronage based system built of favours, implied corruption and red tape? Does anyone really find spiritual merit in interfering with their neighbour's religious beliefs and dress code? You tell me.
Peter | 4/10/2016
its time for the americans/west to bomb/shootdown any troops aircraft that attack rebel areas , this should go for any turkish troops or aircraft in northern syria or iraq ,, if not please just leave pull the reporters out and dont show us the massacres or talk about them ,, just like the last 100 years UN = dictators for ever and endless war useless piece of shxt organization which every democracy should get up and leave
Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 4/10/2016
Most likely the Russian delegation's statement came under the influence of drinking Whisky and eating Kabab.
Jan Sammer | 4/10/2016
If you’re going to change the country’s name, why not just call it Syria? Countries calling themselves "democratic" are usually anything but that, e.g. German Democratic Republic or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is because of such connotations that Romania chose its one-word name following the overthrow of Ceaucescu. I think Syria should follow suit.
JS | 4/10/2016
The federal system cannot work when each group hates each other. The federal system only works when there isn't tribalism or racism. How can you have a federal system if each group grows up hating the other? As long as one group sees itself as better than the other there will be war. Before any system works, you have to promote at least friendship between the groups. You cannot have a federation of enemies.

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