Leader of the KNC Ibrahim Biro speaking to Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Syrian Kurdish National Council (KNC) known by its Kurdish initials as ENKS, one of the two main Kurdish organizations in Syria, abstained from a London conference on Wednesday where the Syrian High Negotiations Commission (HNC) announced their framework for a transitional period aimed at ending the five-year long civil war in the country
“The Kurdish National Council had expressed its reservation on the document released by the [Syrian] High Negotiation Commission in London before its release.” Ibrahim Biro, head of the ENKS told Rudaw.
He said his organization declared that it “is not committed to the articles in the document” in a message sent to the head of the High Negotiation Commission, the National Coalition for Syrian opposition, and the embassies of concerned countries.
Biro said that no Kurdish party attended the meeting representing their side. Only one Kurdish person was present, and that was as part of the Coordination Body.
The framework set a three-phase plan: Phase one is a six-month negotiation process that includes a ceasefire. Phase two is a year and a half-long transition period that would begin once basic principles of the transition process are agreed on and would see the establishment of a Transitional Governing Body. The third and final phase would see the implementation of a revised constitution and elections.
“We do not agree to the first article in the document that says Syria is part of the Arab nation,” he said, explaining that there is no such thing called the Arab nation, it is not in the political map. “We cannot agree to it even in the future.”
“The dominance of the Islamic Arabist,” in the document, “eliminating [other] ethnic or religious components” and “the commitment of the document to the idea of administrative decentralization are among points the ENKS wants to be changed.
Biro added that the Saudi-backed Syrian High Negotiation Commission and the National Coalition should be distinguished from one another. His group, he said, enjoys good relations with the latter.
“There is a document between the National Coalition and the Kurdish National Council that safeguards the rights of the Kurdish nation.” He also noted there are some elements in the National Coalition who do not recognize the national rights of Kurds, but that “there are many friends inside and outside the Coalition who agree to our [national] rights.”
“Only 25 percent of the National Coalition is represented in the High Negotiation Commission,’ he said.
It is to be noted the National Coalition, represented by its head Anas al-Abda, was also present at the London conference.
The HNC repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining Syria’s territorial integrity, and ensuring the participation of all peoples.
With respect to Kurdish aspirations, “The Kurdish cause shall be considered a national Syrian cause and action shall be taken to ensure their ethnic, linguistic, and cultural rights in the constitution,” reads their framework.