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Damascus open to discussing Kurdish autonomy after ISIS: FM

By Rudaw 26/9/2017
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. File photo: AFP
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Damascus is open to discussions with Syrian Kurds about the formation of an autonomous region within Syria’s borders, the country’s foreign minister said in an interview with Russia Today. 

“They want some kind of autonomy within the borders of the Republic of Syria and that issue is open for negotiation and talks,” Minister Walid al-Moualem said in an interview published by Russia Today on Monday.

He stressed, however, that talks would happen only after ISIS is defeated in the country. Then they can “sit with our Kurdish sons and reach an understanding on a formula for the future.”

Kurds formed the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria stretching across three cantons commonly known collectively as Rojava. 

On Friday, they held a vote to elect communal representatives, the first of three planned elections. They will hold local and provincial elections in November, followed by a parliamentary vote in January.

Abdulqader Azuz, an advisor to Syria’s Council of Ministries, told Rudaw in July that the Syrian government considers the elections "illegitimate" and the region "illegal."

The armed Kurdish force YPG are a key ally in the war against ISIS, currently battling the terror group in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor with backing from the US-led international coalition and under the flag of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In Deir ez-Zor, mere kilometres separate the SDF from the Syrian army and its pro-government militias backed by Russia. Both have recently claimed they have come under attack by the other as they race to take control of the province rich in oil and gas. 


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pre-Boomer Marine brat | 27/9/2017
Ooooooh!!! Now THIS is interesting!!! ... Erdogan's panty must be twisted into knots.
duroi | 27/9/2017
It is the right step in the right direction. At this stage it helps if Syria and its Russian ally trust the Kurds in liberating the eastern banks of Euphrates, and Russia instead mediates to initiate a grand bargain between Kurds in Syria and Iraq (i.e. KRG in Erbil) with Syrian government in Damascus in creating a secular Arab-Kurdish confederation اتحاد سور in the region. In such a "Sur union", the borders between Kurds and Arab union regions can be shifted to 36 N Par; and Aleppo, Saladin's beloved city, can turn into the capital of Sur confederation (cf Ottawa sitting between English Canada and French Quebec).
chillonthis | 27/9/2017
Turkey has been outflank by Iran, and on the verge of becoming a minor player. Joint training with Iraq's Shiite army, and economic threats against the Kurd's will only fail. Turkey could become a major player, all Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have to do is mirror Damascus discussions with Syrian Kurd's and the formation of an autonomous region within Turkey's borders.
A Kurd in exile | 27/9/2017
Let's hope that God Almighty will give wisdom and foresight to the Syrian political and military leadership to see that it will be in the best interest of Syria to let the Kurds in Western Kurdistan or Rojava (northern Syria) go and join their brothers and sisters in Southern Kurdistan or Bashur (northern Iraq) to form their own independent country. That will be much better for everybody.
Peter | 27/9/2017
The Genie is officially out of the bottle,,KRG will be Independent,,Rojave cannot be stopped from same path and eventual reunification,, Iran and Turkey you are next
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