Syrian Kurds aim to establish ‘federal state’

Syrian Kurds aim to establish ‘federal state’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Syrian Kurds aim to establish ‘federal state’

Over 200 Syrian Kurdish leaders attended the conference in Arbil Jan 28.

More than 10 Syrian opposition Kurdish parties have called for the establishment of a “Kurdish federal state” in Syria during a meeting in the northern Iraqi capital of Arbil, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned. 

Over 200 Syrian Kurdish leaders attended the conference in Arbil on Jan. 28 and 29, which brought together leaders in exile with a delegation from the Kurdish National Council in Syria. 

“All the participants signed a common text saying that a Kurdish federal government should be founded within Syria. It was also stressed during the meeting that the Syrian Kurds should be participating in the Syrian revolution as ‘Kurds,’ not as ‘Syrians,’” Kendal Afrini, a Syrian Kurdish opposition member who attended the conference in Arbil and a representative of the Alliance of Syrian Liberals in Europe, told the Daily News.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish Party known to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was the only Kurdish party to boycott the conference. 
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani, KRG Prime Minister Behram Salihi and KRG Parliamentary Speaker Dr. Kemal Kerkuki also attended the conference in order to give support to the Syrian Kurdish parties. 

Efrini said Barzani, who made the opening speech at the conference, also expressed his support for the Syrian Kurds. 

“Barzani conditioned his support on the unity of Syrian Kurds. ‘You must keep aside narrow party interests until situations become clear in Syria,’ Barzani said. And he warned the Syrian Kurds that sticking to party interests and internal disputes could result in them losing the opportunity. Barzani also noted that Syrian Kurdish unity was somewhat fractured by the PYD’s refusal to attend,” Efrini said.