Kurdish Council Agrees to Join Syrian Opposition Coalition

12/12/2012 RUDAW By ADIB ABDULMAJID – AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Syria’s Kurdish National Council (KNC) has agreed to join the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the largest umbrella of opposition forces against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a senior official of the group said.

Abdulhakim Bashar, a member of the KNC executive bureau, said that the agreement came after discussions and negotiations with the SNC’s leadership last week. “The executive bureau of the KNC decided to participate in the (SNC) coalition, and there will be an official declaration in this regard soon,” Bashar told the Welati News Network on Monday.

He added that negotiations between the Kurdish and SNC delegations would continue on some unresolved issues during an upcoming conference of the Friends of Syria groups in Morocco.

“We insisted on the importance of responding to the demands of the Kurdish people in Syria, and we will keep negotiating with the different political forces in the Syrian National Coalition until we reach a fair solution for the Kurdish issue,” Bashar said.

He denied that the decision to join the SNC was taken without the consent of the Kurdish Supreme Committee, a Kurdish political coalition that includes the KNC and the Popular Council of Western Kurdistan. “We have been discussing this matter within the Kurdish Supreme Committee for a while. In fact, most of the Arab parties welcomed the participation of the KNC in the opposition coalition, but at the same time they refuse to accept the Popular Council of Western Kurdistan in their factions. Therefore, we decided, as KNC, to join the coalition after long negotiations with our partners.” The KNC’s decision drew both support and criticism from Kurdish activists and academics, with some saying it would strengthen the Kurdish voice among the Syrian opposition, and others saying it would lead to divisions among the Kurds themselves.