SOHR exclusive | “PYD delegation did not meet with Al-Muslet, and we are ready to negotiate with all parties to reach political settlement,” says Salih Muslim
In an exclusive SOHR interview, the member of the presidential committee of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim has stated that the Autonomous Administration has repeatedly expressed its readiness to participate in negotiations and dialogues aiming to break the deadlock, stressing that the solution of the Syrian crisis should be reached through Syrian-Syrian agreement.
Q: What is the truth about the rejection by the chairman of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,” Salem Al-Muslet of meeting with the PYD delegation in Washington? And how do you see this rejection?
A: There are no officials of PYD right now in Washington, and we are a part of SDC in the USA. The reports circulating about Salem Al-Muslet’s rejection of meeting with a delegation of our party are completely untrue, as we have not asked for any meetings with the Coalition. However, there were previous efforts by other players aiming to reach a consensus between the two sides. Al-Muslet might have rejected these efforts, and we expected that he would do so. We have not deliberately headed to the USA to meet with the Coalition.
Q: How ready are you to negotiate with an opposition body headed by the Coalition which refers to you as a “terrorist party?”
A: We are a part of the Autonomous Administration and of Syrian Democratic Council. As a party believing that negotiation is the only way to a political settlement, we attempt to make SDC a side of negotiations with the Coalition in all meetings. Frequent meetings have been held with moderate parties of this opposition body, the Syrian National Coalition, the last of which was in Sweden. We seek for participating in the incoming meetings in Geneva which are based on the terms of the Resolution No. 2254.
Regarding the accusation of “terrorism,” the Coalition and Turkey call “terrorists” just for being a Kurdish party.
All efforts we did in our areas aimed only at defending our land and ourselves against all offences which targeted us. We have never violated international laws and conventions. We have been all along complying with, and respecting all international laws and accords. We have fought those who attacked us. If this is “terrorism” according to Turkey’s view, then this is another case. It is common knowledge that Turkey deals with all Kurdish people as “terrorists.”
Q: Does this opposition need a new structure comprising new revolutionary figures that do not show enmity with other players in order to bring the Syrian crisis to an end?
A: I think that the opposition needs restructuring, especially since it has been under supervision and administration by the “Muslim Brotherhood” who control it and its decision through the so-call “Coalition” with the participation of rebel groups. After getting rid of the “Muslim Brotherhood” that is subordinated to fascist Turkey, some changes can be applied in order to meet the current situation in Syria.
Today, the democratic powers and other powers operating under the banner of the Coalition have to be restructured to come up with a new body dubbed the “Coalition,” or any other name, that can drive the country to negotiations and political settlement away from any foreign agendas, especially the Turkish agenda.
Q: Are you still ready to negotiate with the Syrian regime?
A: We were ruled out of Geneva dialogues, after Turkey, which has publicly declared us as enemy, had rejected our presence due to our stance against its interference in Syria affairs and its occupation of a part of Syrian territory in the northern region.
Previously, we expressed our readiness to negotiate with the Syrian regime, with the mediation of a third side, the Russians, but it seems that the regime has not changed its policy, and it is still opposing the presence of the Kurds and the Autonomous Administration in Syria.
We see that negotiations with the Autonomous Administration are considered a clear recognition by the regime of our legitimacy, so we demand and call for such negotiations. However, the regime is not ready for this step. When there is an openning to negotiations, we will be ready to negotiate with the regime to reach a political settlement which could potentially end this protracted war and achieve stability in Syria.
Q: Turkey, which captures a part of Syrian territory, accuses you of being “subordinate/collaborator,” what is your response to this accusation? And how can you counter its attempts to entrench its presence further in north Syria region which Turkey considers as if it is a Turkish territory?
A: Turkey frequently accused us of “working for regime, USA and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.” We are free and have never been agents of any local or foreign bodies. Our only goals are the liberation of our country and spread of stability. There are some players who describe us as a “separatist movement.” We, at the Autonomous Administration, never direct accusations at anybody. We seek only to unify all ranks and negotiate for reaching a political settlement. We only care about the interest of Syria away from any futile conflicts which have never played in the favour of Syria and its people of all backgrounds (ethnic, sectarian and religious).
The Turkish occupation, which violates all international laws and conventions defending the rights of people to obtain peace in their homeland, needs a real resistance. We call for the unity of all Syrian geography and express our rejection of every type of occupation. Turkey seems unaware that it blatantly violates all charters. We will continue our resistance against this occupying power across all Syrian territory.
Q: How do you see Erdogan’s preparations to settle one million Syrian citizens in north Syria region? And do you concern about expected growing tension?
A: Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Turkey has turned the issue of refugees into a bargaining chip to exert pressure on international and regional powers. It established camps to encourage civilians to displace under the pretext of “escaping from the conflict” with the aim of changing the demography of specific Syrian regions. Since entering Syria, Turkey has been working on expelling Kurdish and Syriac people and other segments of Syrian society living in the border areas. It is pursuing the implementation of this evil plan, exploiting the support provided by Europe.
It is very sad to use refugees to implement hostile plans designed to tear apart Syrian people.
Q: How can the Syrian conflict be brought to an end, from the perspective of PYD?
A: The Syrian crisis has become an international case. Accordingly, the solution will manifests itself in all warring players foregoing their plans and agendas and giving green light only to Syrian parties to settle their conflicts. When this happens, then we can reach a political settlement.
We would like to bring to mind the world of the fact that a political settlement depends on a strong opposition and a real command representing all segments of Syrian society and seriously addressing the situation. The international powers which have interfered in the Syrian crisis, including the International Coalition, US and Russian forces, do not exert serious efforts to impose a political settlement. Moreover, no intentions to break the deadlock looms on the horizon as long as conflicts among all warring parties escalate. The Decision must be a Syrian-Syrian, of course with the mediation of the United Nations in accordance with the Resolution No. 2254.