We were invited to Moscow to take part in the conference "The Kurds in the Arab Spring" organized by the Carnegie Moscow Center. The Syrian Kurds were represented by Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Party of Democratic Unity, and me as a co-chair of the National Council of the Western (Syrian) Kurdistan, and also there were a representative of the Turkish Kurds, Deputy of the Party of Peace and Democracy in the Turkish Parliament Nazmi Gür, and representatives of the Russian Kurds, in particular, Chairman of the International Union of Kurdish Associations in Russia Merab Shamoyev, as well as representatives of the European embassies and Russian scientific, public and political circles.
During the conference, the situation in the Middle East region, in particular, in the Kurdish areas of the West Asian countries (Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran) was analyzed. It is obvious, that today, the Kurdish factor plays an important role in the policies of regional powers, as well as the United States, Israel and the EU countries. The situation in the region remains complicated, and under certain circumstances the Kurdish problem may become aggravated there.
There were great changes in Syria in the past year and a half. The Kurdish parties of the country joined in the Supreme Kurdish Council, thus hoping to work together on the Kurdish problem in Syria by means of creating Kurd autonomy within the Syrian Arab Republic. The Kurds in Syria are against the partition, they are in favour of the solution of their problems in the framework of the territorial integrity of the country. The Kurds have no problems in relations with Christians and with representatives of other minorities living in the Western Kurdistan (areas of Syria populated by Kurds, - Ed.). Our delegation told about it at the Moscow conference.
Before your visit to Russia, the accession of the Supreme Kurdish Council to the National Coalition of the Syrian Opposition established in Doha was announced. However, your delegation did not participate in the conference of the «Friends of Syria» in Marrakech. Why didn’t it?
Yes, the Coalition sent us an invitation letter, and the delegation was preparing to leave. But for technical reasons, it could not leave in time. You know the situation in Syria, it is not so easy to get to the airport and depart at the scheduled time.
As far as we know, the invitation was sent to only one organization, namely, the National Council of the Syrian Kurds, which is a member of the Supreme Council of the Syrian Kurds. Was the invitation sent to the Supreme Council?
According to the agreement between the National Council of the Syrian Kurds and the National Council of the Western Kurdistan, both organizations, which are included in the Supreme Council, in their external relations act on behalf of the Supreme Council - in those cases, when there is an agreed solution. As for the contacts with the Syrian National Coalition, the final decision is not accepted yet. If we reach an agreement, then we will enter the Coalition as the Supreme Council. - And what do you expect from the Syrian opposition?
Of course, we have no illusions concerning the relations with the Syrian radical opposition. Most likely, their consent to bring about a rapprochement with the Kurds was forced, that is, external forces insisted on it. It is absolutely clear that without the Kurds the new coalition of opposition cannot speak on behalf of the Syrian people. Moreover, the Syrian Kurds were opponents of the existing regime long before the beginning of the "Arab spring", and they have real power. In fact, we act not only on behalf of the Syrian Kurds, but also on behalf of the representatives of all the Nations and religions living in the North of Syria. And in the Syrian opposition it is the Islamists, who set the tone. And the recent events in the region of Serêkanî (Ras al-Ayn) were an example of what they are capable of. By the way, the first targets of their attacks were Christians. Today, our Kurdish units of the people's defense protect not only the Kurds, but everybody: Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians living together with the Kurds.
We believe that the former regime in Syria has already exhausted itself. But we can't simply accept the fact that it will be replaced by the radical Islamists, who are not going to take into consideration the interests of either the Kurds, or the Alawis, or representatives of other religions and peoples. We are concerned with the future of Syria. And our participation in the Coalition of the national opposition is possible only in case our rights are respected. Also, let me remind you, we strongly object to the military intervention from the outside. The Syrians should solve their internal problems themselves; and they are able to do it, if nobody interferes.