French-Sponsored Syrian-Kurdish Conference Held in Paris

19/10/2012 RUDAW By ADIB ABDULMAJID – AMSTERDAM, Netherlands –A group of Kurdish parties and political forces held a conference in a building of French Parliament in Paris this week. Sponsored by French Parliament, the main goal of the conference was to discuss the Syrian uprising and the appropriate manner of resolving the Kurdish issue in Syria.

Among the participants were delegations from the Kurdish Supreme Council (KSC), the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish National Council (KNC), Kurdish Yekiti Party and other prominent politicians and Western diplomats.

Nasreddin Ibrahim, head of the KSC’s delegation at the conference and leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria, emphasized the importance of unity of all Kurdish political and revolutionary forces under the umbrella of the KSC, which was founded to put an end to divisions between Kurdish groups.

“The bloodshed of the Syrian people continues a year and a half after the uprising began,” Ibrahim said. “Syrians have still not given up their goal of overthrowing the current regime in order to accomplish democratic change in the country.” He added that change will serve all components of the Syrian community, “including our Kurdish nation which has suffered the most under this regime that practices all kinds of killing, suppression and displacement of Syrians.”

According to Ibrahim, the challenge at this stage is to make sure a fair solution to the Kurdish issue is available after the downfall of the regime. “In order to achieve the ambitions of the Kurdish people, we have to unite our ranks under the extended umbrella of the KSC and preserve that unity, since it represents a basic step in being properly prepared for the next phase of Syria’s history,” Ibrahim stated.

Ahmad Turk, a member of Turkish Parliament and a representative of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), gave a speech at the conference which emphasized the importance of solidarity between the different components of the Syrian community “to respond to the popular demand of building a pluralistic Syria.”

“Assyrian factions should participate with the Kurds in the revolutionary movement to establish a solid basis for a real democratic process in the future,” Turk argued. A representative from France’s ruling Socialist Party, Alan Amune, issued a statement during the conference that reiterated the French government’s support of the Syrian people and their demands. France supports the minorities in Syria, including the Kurds and the issue of their legitimate rights.

Ahmad Suleiman, a member of the KNC and the official spokesperson of the KSC, stressed the role of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish political movement in the ongoing Syrian revolution in his speech at the conference. “Despite all the attempts to drag the Kurdish areas into the armed conflict and the circle of violence, the Kurds have preserved their peaceful method of participation in the Syrian revolution,” Suleiman said.

He added, “Therefore, it is important to glorify the Kurdish position in this uprising and their hospitality to the thousands of displaced Arab families from various Syrian cities.” Suleiman also emphasized the necessity of maintaining the KSC as a collective entity for all Syrian Kurds and its role in the daily pro-democracy activities taking place in the Kurdish regions. According to Suleiman, Assad’s security forces are still present in the Kurdish areas “but the regime’s administration in our areas is remarkably absent.” “In order to be prepared for all scenarios, Kurdish activists should overcome their partisan interests and put their efforts into the service of public demands,” he concluded.

Saduddin Mella, a representative of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, called on the Kurdish national movement to maintain democratic principles when dealing with the different issues during this sensitive phase in Syria. “There should be awareness of the danger surrounding the Kurdish situation in Syria, because it seems that some regional powers are trying to lead us into Kurdish-Kurdish tension, and there are attempts to involve Kurdish political parties, making them the oil for the fire of this sedition,” Mella said during the conference.

“The KSC must carry out its responsibilities to the Kurdish people in Western [Syrian] Kurdistan, and there should be a direct response to all the popular demands, because to represent is to perform this duty,” he added.

A speech from a representative of the Change Movement (Gorran), Kawa Hassan, emphasized the role of democracy and unity in toppling the dictatorship and guaranteeing a promising future in Syria.“Obviously, the main goal of the ongoing popular anti-dictatorship revolution in Syria is to overthrow the current brutal and tyrannical regime and achieve democratic change. To build a democratic system is the essential challenge for all the parties in Syria,” Hassan said, adding that human rights should be maintained and defended in the future Syria. The Kurdistan National Democratic Union was represented at the conference by its leader, Ghafur Makhmouri, who demanded the French government provide help and support to the Kurdish people in Syria. “France should take into consideration the consequences of the Sykes-Picot Agreement from which the Kurds are still suffering,” Makhmouri argued. Makhmouri also called on the Kurdish parties and organizations to support their peers in Syrian Kurdistan “because the accomplishment of their aspirations would be a guarantee for a better future for all Kurdish people in all of Kurdistan.”