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Syrian Kurdish parties reach agreement on Geneva II - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) head Saleh Muslim speaks during a conference in Paris November 13, 2013. (Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)

Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) head Saleh Muslim speaks during a conference in Paris November 13, 2013. (Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)

Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—An agreement has been reached between the Syrian Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Syria-based Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Syrian Kurdish participation at the Geneva II conference.

After eight days of meetings between the parties an announcement was made at a joint news conference stating that “any Kurdish party” would be able to represent Kurdistan at the conference on January 22, but “not in an individual or partisan capacity.”

“Both sides reached agreement on the differences which have caused many of the problems and media exchanges between them in the past,” the statement continued.

Talks between the two seemed to have broken down on Friday over who would represent the Syrian Kurdish people at the upcoming UN-brokered peace conference.

However, a final meeting was held late on the night of December 23, where agreement on 10 points was reached.

The representative of West Kurdistan People’s Council, Abdessalam Ahmad, who was present at the meetings, said that aside from the agreement regarding the Geneva II conference, the other points included the opening of the border point at Semalika, which was under the control of the PYD, in addition to the release of all detainees currently detained in PYD prisons. He said the border point would be open within 46 hours following the agreement.

He said that the Kurdish people of Syria “were going through a sensitive historic phase and must preserve the unity of their ranks,” adding that the “interests of the Kurdish people in Syria must take priority over the narrow partisan interests.”

Tahir Safouk, the representative of the KNC at the meeting, described the agreement as a “historic achievement for the Kurdish people.” Safouk said the agreement at this current time on the political future of the Kurdish region in Syria gave Kurdish people and parties the “strength and determination to enter the political arena in the next phase after the overthrow of the current Syrian regime.”

The agreement also included the formation of a committee of 11 people, including independent rights activists, to investigate the events of Amouda and Tall Ghazal in the town of Koubani, where many civilians were killed, and where accusations pointed at the PYD.

The two sides also agreed to describe all those who fall in the region during the struggle against the current regime as “martyrs of the struggle for democracy in Western Kurdistan.”

The two sides, however, failed to agree on “the independent Kurdish administration which was announced by the PYD and some other parties in the Syrian region of Kurdistan, while an agreement was postponed on the activation of the Higher Kurdish Council.”

A decision on those two issues was delayed until January 15, 2014.

The negotiations were sponsored by the president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, and mediated by the Kurdish MP in the Turkish parliament, Leyla Zana, and the Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir.

The news conference was also attended by Hamid Darabandi who was representing President Barzani.