Kurds completely marginalized in Syrian peace talks

The leaders of Syria's opposition delegation, including a Syrian Kurdish group, left Geneva nearly after a week of negotiations, without addressing the Syrian Kurdish question.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Tuesday, the leaders of Syria's opposition delegation, including a Syrian Kurdish group, left Geneva after nearly a week of negotiations that did not address the Kurdish question.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Husein Naso, a Syrian Kurdish journalist and political analyst, said the Syrian Kurds were optimistic about the third round of negotiations as there was at least one Kurdish group participating in the talks, but the result was contrary to expectations.

“The Kurdish group represented by ENKS [Syria’s Kurdish National Council] had a very vulnerable position, and it was totally marginalized,” Naso said. “Moreover, they do not have a real force on the ground, so they do not have the right to negotiate.”

It is worth mentioning that the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which exercises extensive influence over Kurdish areas in Syria via its military wing known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), was excluded from the peace talks. On the other hand, ENKS, which is part of the Syrian National Council (SNC), was invited to the discussions.

However, ENKS reiterated that the Kurdish group in Syria’s opposition delegation represents the Kurds as part of the national issue in Syria, but due to unexpected events on the ground, the committee decided to pause the talks.

Fuad Aliko, an ENKS member and a member of the main opposition, High Negotiations Committee (HNC), told Kurdistan24 on Tuesday, “We submitted many documents to the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura and discussed the Kurdish involvement in the political process in the aspired new Syria.”

The previous round of peace talks ended on March 24 with de Mistura promising to quicken the divisive question of Syria's political transition when the warring parties returned to the third round on April 13.


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa