Rebels ‘mediate’ talks between Turkey, PYD
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib (L) and Syrian National Coalition President George Sabra (R) attended a conference entitled ‘Syria in the third year of revoltion’ hosted by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Istanbul. Al-Khatib excluded the idea of dialogue with the Syrian regime. AA photoSyrian National Coalition (SNC) leader Moaz al-Khatib said yesterday that he initiated the mediation of talks between Turkey and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish party affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but his initiative has not yet yielded a result as Ankara forces the PYD to take a clear stance against the Syrian regime on the ground.
When al-Khatib met the president of PYD, Saleh Muslim, in Cairo, the Kurdish leader declared that the PYD would support a Syrian revolution, the SNC leader said.
“I asked him why he had not contacted Turkey and proposed [a mediation],” al-Khatib said, speaking at a conference hosted by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), though he implied that he had not received a positive response from Turkey yet.
“There are still technical issues, there are attitudes,” he said, adding that dialogue between Turkey and the Kurdish group is “possible only if the PYD declares a serious will.”
'The PYD should clarify its position'
The PYD should clarify its position against the Syrian regime in order to open dialogue with Turkey, al-Khatib told Hürriyet Daily News after the conference.
“Dialogue [with the PYD] may come to the agenda only if they take a stance against the Syrian regime… Not only in words, but on the ground,” a Turkish diplomat told the Daily News.
Elaborating on the PYD’s declaration that the group does not recognize the election of Ghassan Hitto to serve as Syria’s first rebel premier, al-Khatib said he respected their decision, as he also expected the election of an interim prime minister, though his own opinion is different.
Al-Khatib said he would prefer establishing an executive board at the moment rather than an interim government, but the majority of the SNC has voted for the second option.
“This was the choice of the majority,” he added. The SNC leader excluded the idea of dialogue with the Syrian regime and asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to declare a schedule to leave power.
According to al-Khatib’s proposal, al-Assad must leave all his power to the “current government,” and the government would bring criminals to the International Criminal Court. “And then Syrians, the current government and opposition will agree between each other,” he said.
Al-Khatib also called on Russia and the U.S. not to intervene in Syria. “They failed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Syrian people are not an experiment room. We can find our own solutions,” he said.