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MIDEAST > Syrian Kurds form their own council in Arbil

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Riot police stand guard as Syrian Kurds protest in front of the UN office in Arbil
to demand the departure of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. AFP photo

Riot police stand guard as Syrian Kurds protest in front of the UN office in Arbil to demand the departure of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. AFP photo

Syrian opposition Kurdish parties are preparing to announce the formation of their own “National Kurdish Council” in the northern Iraqi capital of Arbil, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned. 

“There will be a meeting of the Syrian Kurdish groups on Jan. 21 in Arbil. The Kurdish parties participating in the meeting will make a call to all the other Syrian Kurdish parties to join them,” Kendal Efrini, a Syrian Kurdish opposition member and representative of the Alliance of Syrian Liberals in Europe, told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on Wednesday. 

Dr. Abdul Hakim Bashar, secretary-general of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria, will lead the National Kurdish Council, which will become the second national council established by opposition forces after the establishment of the Syrian National Council.

France-based Efrini said he would also attend the meeting. “Right now, there are five or six Kurdish parties joining the National Kurdish Council. We want to broaden this council as much as possible.” 
A member of the Syrian National Council who wished to remain anonymous said most of the leaders of the Syrian Kurdish parties had been staying in Arbil under the protection of the Kurdistan Regional Government for some time. 

“We don’t know yet whether they will achieve their goal of uniting the Kurdish parties under one umbrella – we need time to see that,” he said. 

The Syrian National Council described itself as the largest Syrian opposition group – including Islamists, leftists, liberals, Arabs, Christians and Kurds – when it was established in Istanbul on Aug. 29, 2011 under the leadership of Burhan Ghalioun.

There are around 15 different Kurdish parties in Syria, a few of which are represented in the Syrian National Council.

January/19/2012

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