PYD leader in visit to Turkey proposes formation of provisional council until political solution
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
The leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim came to Istanbul from Arbil on July 25 for two-days talks. AA photoThe leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim, who is currently on an unexpected visit to Turkey, has said the Syrian Kurds will seek a "new status" in the new political system to be established in Syria.
Muslim also emphasized the need for a provisional council in the territory controlled by Kurds in northern Syria, which could also comprise Arabs, Syriacs and Turkmens, to ensure governance until the two-year-long conflict reaches a settlement.
"By all means, Kurds will need to have a status in the new order in Syria. But what's in question now is a provisional arrangement until we arrive at that phase. It's not about making a Constitution, but practical rules are necessary," he told Anadolu Agency July 27.
He added that as the main Kurdish group in northern Syria, they weren't intending to "impose" anything on anybody. "No decision has been taken yet. Our thought is to establish a provisional council of 40-50, maybe a hundred people. This council will comprise Kurds, Syriacs, Arabs and Turkmens. They will choose the provisional administration from among themselves," he added.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated PYD has increased its control in the north of Syria after violent clashes between its armed wing and the al-Qaeda-linked al Nusra-Front for over a week.
Turkish officials have expressed strong concerns about the "fait accompli" imposition of a de facto autonomous Kurdish region in the north of Syria. The developments prompted the government to hold an emergency meeting on July 24, which was followed by Muslim's surprise talks.
Meetings with senior Foreign Ministry officials
Muslim confirmed that he had held talks with Foreign Ministry and other senior officials on the recent developments in northern Syria.
"We met first degree officials from the Foreign Ministry and other senior officials. We held talks on various issues. We were already close to each other. [Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu had some positive statements. The al-Nusra Front is pursuing a war against us. This is very important and we discussed it with Turkey," Muslim said, stressing that the provisional rule they were intending to establish was causing "misunderstandings" in Ankara.
"We have planted the idea of a provisional administration to ensure delivery of the public services that have been hampered because of the war. The administration will be comprised of all parties in Rojava [the Kurdish northern parts of Syria]. We discussed and talked about these matters," he said.
The PYD leader has also stressed that Syrian Kurds were opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "We have had a constant policy since the beginning. We are against al-Assad and want him to be overthrown. But because we can't position ourselves with certain sides or send our young people to fight in Damascus as we protect our region, some are displeased. But claims that we are with the regime are baseless. We have been a part of the opposition since the beginning," Muslim said.
He also added that their ties would improve after the election of Ahmad al-Jarba, a tribal leader from the mainly Kurdish Hasaka region in northern Syria, as the new head of opposition.
"We are making efforts to meet the needs in Rojava where mostly Kurds are living. But these efforts are not only directed to Kurds, but also to Arabs, Syriacs and Turkmens living there. We don't want any of them to [be harmed]. We have managed to protect our region until now. Hopefully we can protect it in the future as well," Muslim said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said that Muslim held talks with intelligence officials along with Foreign Ministry diplomats. The developments also come as the government is working to finalize a democratization package to boost the ongoing Kurdish peace process, which started seven months ago.