New Committee Formed to Deal with Kurdish Issue in Syria

06/09/2012 RUDAW By HEMIN KHOSHNAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Last August, the Syrian opposition held a meeting in Cairo where they decided to create a committee to deal with the Kurdish issue in Syria. The committee includes regional and local experts, such as representatives from the Arab League and Kurdish and Arab Syrians. Muhammad Musa, a Kurdish representative who attended the Cairo meeting, told Rudaw that two main issues were discussed: “First, to establish a mechanism to allow the Syrian opposition to stay connected with all opposition factions, the Syrian people, the international community and international organizations. Second, the Kurdish issue was addressed.”

“The committee’s role is to gather information and report at the next opposition meeting which will be held at the end of September,” Musa said. “I am optimistic that this time the Kurdish and Syrian opposition will reach a solution on the Kurdish issue.” 

Musa mentioned that the Kurdish representatives met with the head of the Arab League, Nabil Arabi, and his deputies. “We told them that if they are concerned about Syria’s unity then they must be serious about resolving the Kurdish issue,” he said.When asked whether changes have occurred in the Arab and Islamic opposition’s attitude toward the Kurdish issue in Syria, Musa said, “I would say a new situation has emerged, rather than changes occurring.”

He believes the withdrawal of the Kurdish delegation during a meeting last July forced the Syrian opposition to reevaluate its attitude. Like Musa, Shalal Gado, a member of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) in Syria, is also optimistic about the establishment of the committee and believes it will be able to provide a fair solution to the Kurdish issue.

“This is the first time a committee that includes regional members has been established to deal with the Kurdish issue,” Gado said, adding that it proves that the Kurdish issue in Syria is becoming more of a regional issue day by day.

Gado believes the committee will be a good tool to force the Syrian National Council (SNC) to deal with the Kurdish issue.

“Unfortunately, some Syrian opposition parties share the same view as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime toward the Kurdish issue. The committee will neither share the views of Syria’s opposition nor the Kurds. But its views will be better than those of the Arab factions in Syria’s opposition,” said Gado.    Rezwan Badini, a professor at the University of Salahaddin, considers the committee a step in the right direction. However, he believes it also reflects the inefficiency of Kurdish politics in Syria.“Establishing such a committee proves that the Kurds in Syria couldn’t impose their position internationally and regionally,” he said.

Badini told Rudaw that the Kurdish opposition is only following developments, instead of playing an active role as opposition. “In Syria’s opposition meetings, the Kurds appear as guests,” he said.

Furthermore, Badini described the Kurdish politicians as “ignorant.”

He said, “The Kurdish politicians have poor backgrounds linguistically, intellectually and politically. Often, during the meetings, an Arab politician can mislead the Kurdish politicians with one word. If the politicians had carried out their duties wisely, the Kurds could have achieved many things by now.”