MESOP NEWS II ) Kurds in Syrian Kurdistan defends federal plan, deny autonomy aim

 MOSCOW,- 21 March 2016 –  TASS / AFP – A Syrian Kurd representative defended Monday the proclamation of a Kurdish federal region in Syrian Kurdistan (northern Syria), saying it was not meant to be autonomous and only for Kurds.

The Kurds and their allies unilaterally proclaimed a federal region in Syrian Kurdistan in the war-ravaged country on March 17, but critics said it would undermine Syria’s unity and lead to its partition.“We don’t aspire to create an autonomous zone that is exclusive to the Kurdish nation,” said Rodi Osman, director of the Syrian Kurd’s representative office in Moscow.

“We do not seek creation of a state for any individual ethnic group.”Osman said “We created a special administrative regimen for the purpose of self-defense. We are now creating self-government, education and health service agencies of our own.”“Emergence of a federation of Syrian Kurds was a popular wish. A number of regained areas of Syria have joined our autonomy. Our federation is determined to put an end to religious discrimination, including that of Christians,” Osman said.

“The crisis will remain unresolved as long as this discrimination exists.” he added.

Osman said that in the newly-proclaimed federation instruction was in three languages — Arabic, Kurdish and Assyrian.“You can hear church bells ring here. Our regime relies on the genuine popular wish and a culture of conflictless coexistence,” he said.“We envision to install a federal regime, democratic and secular, in which all parts of Syrian society can live and by which they will feel themselves represented,” he told reporters.

Both the Damascus government and the main Syrian opposition grouping involved in UN-brokered peace negotiations in Geneva have rejected last Thursday’s move by the Kurds.The Arab League on Monday rejected Kurdish-led moves for a federal system of government in Syria, charging that they would lead to the break-up of the war-torn country.Washington has said it will not recognise any autonomous regions they set up under their planned federation and says that Syria’s future system of government is something to be negotiated in the UN talks.But it has also said that it will continue to work closely with the Kurds, whom it regards as the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State jihadist group.