Salih Muslim, the leader of the PYD in Europe. Photo: Adrien Morlent | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region- Syrian Kurds are not seeking an independent region of their own but a democratic country with equal rights, says the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Speaking to the German Press Agency (DPA), PYD leader Salih Muslim said: “The Kurds of Syria are not after an independent region of their own but they rather want Syria to become a democratic state where all of its citizens will enjoy equal rights.”
Muslim cited the recent victories of the multiethnic Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against ISIS as an example of how Syrians could live and work together.
He said that victories were not gained by the Kurds alone.
“We are not dreaming of a Syrian Kurdistan or of an independent Kurdish region,” Muslim told DPA. “The Kurds alone did not liberate vast areas but they did so with other communities such as Arabs, Assyrians and Turkmen.”
“Our project is for Syria to become a federal democratic state with a new regime and new laws that would guarantee the rights of all of its citizens,” said the PYD leader, according to an Arabic statement posted by his media.
Muslim also defended the move by the canton administrations to hold elections, saying: “We cannot wait and bet everything on an all-out Syria solution which we don’t know when it may come.”
The Kurdish areas of Syria known as Rojava have been under the PYD and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) since 2012, and they have established several autonomous administrations known as cantons.
“The free areas must have their own system to run their affairs and laws have been passed for this,” Muslim said. “But some are mixing the cards.”
Muslim’s remarks were a response to Syria’s deputy foreign minister Fazil Mekdad who said over the weekend that elections in the Kurdish areas of Syria were “a joke.”
The founding council of the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria announced in late July that they soon plan to hold their own local and Northern Syria Democratic parliament elections.
Civil war and unrest have lasted more than six years in the Syrian Arab Republic.