Abdulbasit Sayda: Geneva II conference is not a magic wand

BasNews (Turkey): 8.12.2013 – The former head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) believes that the United States, United Nations and Russia have equally struggled to find a solution to the Syrian conflict.

In an interview with BasNews, Abdulbasit Sayda said that these powers are now putting all of their efforts into the Geneva II Conference, due to be held in January, in an attempt to sway the Syrian government and the opposition. Sayda told BasNews that he refuted the possibility of nominating himself as the head of the united Kurdish blocs in Syria, who is soon to be announced. “I am not a member of any particular party, but since it is about the unity of Kurdish parties, we have to support it,” Said Sayda. He also pointed out that as long as there are conflicts amongst Kurdish political parties, the Kurdish National Coalition (KNC) will remain largely ineffective.

In regards to the decentralization of the ruling system inside Syria, the former SNC leader said that it has been the main point in the agreement between the SNC and the KNC.

“What the Democratic Union Party (PYD) is doing with the Syrian regime in order to control and administrate the Kurdish areas in the north shows that it is ignoring other Kurdish parties in the convention, which is not good for the unity of Kurdish people in Syria. Actions like these will badly affect Kurdish power in the country, needless to say that these issues should be solved carefully,” added Sayda.

Despite the internal discord between Kurdish parties, some potential future Arab leaders and officials have show their support for the Kurdish people, and believe they should be given full rights.

“If there is any misunderstanding within the meetings, it means we have not understood the language of politics yet,” said Sayda. Regarding the Geneva II Conference, Sayda said: “Geneva II is a sign that there are international efforts willing to push all parties within Syria to negotiate with each other peacefully and ultimately find a mutual solution for Syria’s issue.”

He does, however, disagree with those who view the conference as a magic wand of sorts, set to solve all of Syria’s problems. Instead, he said, all parties should understand the need for cooperation if we truly want to end the conflict.

Sayda was resolute in his belief that religious extremists would not have a place inside Syria following Geneva II. “There is no possibility for them to exist inside the country as extremists, but  they could be brought back into society, if the future government drew up a strategic plan for them in order to normalize their lives again.”

Sayda played a key role in the Syrian National Opposition Conference. He struggled and strived for Kurdish rights for almost 20 years in the Kurdish populated areas of Syria. Although he is based in Sweden, he chose to return to Syria when the war broke out.