PYD spokesperson: Kurds the main actor at Cairo & Moscow meetings


ANF/ALİ GÜLER – BRUSSELS 28.01.20!% – The Kurds have gained a status following uprisings initiated by the Arab Spring, and the democratic autonomous canton system they have established in Rojava is seen as a model for the region.PYD Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zuhat Kobanê spoke to ANF about the Cairo and Moscow meetings at which the future of Syria was discussed.

Zuhat Kobanê said that the Kurds were the main actor at the Cairo and Moscow meetings, on account of their victory in Kobanê. “The YPG’s victory over ISIS has changed the course of history,” he added.

What was the aim of the Cairo meeting?

Previously countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey were given roles in trying to find a settlement in Syria, but this was not successful. So now Egypt has been given the task. This meeting was to prepare for a larger congress.

Will there be a congress?

Yes, probably in Cairo in April. The future of Syria will be discussed.

The Kurds are now an actor at these meetings. What do you put this down to?

Yes, a 3-person delegation from the PYD has been invited to the congress. This is undoubtedly due to the resistance in Kobanê and Rojava. International forces have realised that the Kurds are no longer just a factor in the region, but are now an actor. We are now invited everywhere. Unlike the rest of the opposition, we have set up our own system, which has reverberated internationally and is increasingly being seen as a model for a future Syria.

Is it being accepted in the international arena?

There is an ongoing debate. There is no formal recognition as yet, but if a large country such as Russia invites representatives of the cantons, this signifies acceptance. The same goes for Egypt. We have succeeded in breaking the hundred-year old blockade established by the colonialist states, thanks to the system we have created in Rojava and our diplomacy.

What was discussed in Cairo?

The future of Syria was discussed. The importance of equality and everyone having the same rights was stressed. Local autonomy and the extending of our system to the whole country was discussed.

However, no decisions were taken. There was an exchange of views. From Cairo people went to Moscow, where discussions are continuing.

Are the Cairo and Moscow meetings connected?

These things are of course connected. Russia wants to play a role in encouraging dialogue between the opposition and the regime, which is a reality.

What does the PYD want from Syria for the Kurds?

First and foremost we do not want an Arab Republic in Syria. We want a democratic republic where the rights of peoples are protected, as there are many different communities in Syria. Democratic autonomy is essential, but within a democratic Syria.

Kobanê has been cleansed of ISIS gangs. What advantages does this bring to the PYD’s international diplomacy?

Of course, this has had a positive effect. It is a great step towards the acceptance of the cantons and recognition of the YPG as a defence force. We have been involved in diplomatic work for 4 years and this will help us. We have probably visited nearly every country in the world.

In Kobanê the YPG and YPJ received significant global support. Could you comment on this?

I would like to thank everyone who supported the YPG. The Peshmerga, Burkan Al Firat, MLKP and the HPG forces in particular. I would also like to thank the contribution of the international coalition for their airstrikes, even if they were somewhat late in occurring. We hope this will be the basis of an international coalition against ISIS and other gangs in the region.

Of course, this was not just a military success. We must also appreciate the efforts of the Kurdish media and diplomacy. We are also grateful to the people of North Kurdistan who have maintained a vigil on the border for over 4 months. Our people went on to the streets shouting ‘everywhere is Kobanê’ and 50 died. This is a victory for our people and for humanity which was in solidarity with the Kurds.