WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) - State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus affirmed on Wednesday that Syria’s Kurds should be represented in the discussions on that country’s political future.
In October, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hailed Syria’s Kurds as “great partners” and pledged to help ensure that “they have a seat at the [negotiating] table.”
The US remains committed to UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and calls for UN-led talks on a political transition leading to a new constitution, followed by “free and fair elections.”
Asked by Kurdistan 24 if Pompeo’s position, as articulated last October, remained US policy, Ortagus replied “Yes.”
“As the Secretary has said many times, we want a broad representation of all Syrian communities in these talks,” she said, noting that Pompeo had indeed said that “they have been great partners.”
Ortagus also reaffirmed the US commitment to UNSCR 2254 and called on “all parties” to commit to the resolution “and work towards a serious political solution.”
Amb. James Jeffrey, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, was in Cairo on Tuesday to hold discussions on Syria.
Jeffrey explained to journalists that the US remained committed to establishing a “safe zone” in northeast Syria that would address the concerns of the local population about Turkish military incursions, as well as Ankara’s concerns about terrorism.
Ortagus also expressed the State Department’s support for the Treasury Department’s actions in regard to Syria on Tuesday, when it designated a Syrian “oligarch,” Samer Foz, along with thirteen other individuals and entities associated with him.
Foz now lives in Dubai, but he is originally from the Alawite stronghold of Latakia and has close ties to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. In addition to his many other holdings, Foz owns the Four Seasons hotel in Damascus, which was also sanctioned by the Treasury Department.
The Syrian regime is routinely seizing the land of people who have fled their homes because of the civil war. It then turns their property over to Foz for luxury development and calls that “reconstruction.”
“This Syrian oligarch is directly supporting the murderous Assad regime and building luxury developments on land stolen from those fleeing his brutality,” Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker explained.
The European Union sanctioned Foz and his associates earlier this year.
In addition, the Treasury Department on Tuesday sanctioned two Lebanese companies for their role in shipping Iranian oil to Syria.
Editing by Nadia Riva