Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—Negotiations between Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani and delegations from the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have failed to reach agreement on a formula for attending the Geneva II conference on ending the conflict in Syria, due to be held on January 22.
Nuri Brimo, media spokesman of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party, told Asharq Al-Awsat that hours of talks between the two failed to persuade the PYD to abandon their “individualist ideas where they always insisted on a leadership position regarding Kurdish issues in Syria, and not allow other parties to share in decision-making,” which Brimo said was a “contravention of the Erbil agreement.”
The talks were mediated by Kurdish Turkish MP for Diyarbakir, Leyla Zana, and Diyarbakir mayor Osman Baydemir.
Brimo said the Kurdish National Council insisted at the meeting that several issues be satisfied, including “restoring trust between the council and the Democratic Union, the reopening of Faysh Khabour border crossing [between Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish regions], the release of prisoners of conscience, and the participation in the decision-making process in the Kurdish region, where the [PYD] unilaterally declared a Kurdish government.”
Brimo said the PYD made agreement on these issues “almost impossible” and that they “put the cart before the horse.”
Brimo added that Barzani “expressed displeasure at the Kurdish situation and the disagreement between Syrian Kurdish parties. He stressed that had the articles of the Erbil agreement been implemented, none of these tensions would have surfaced.”
According to the latest results of the Kurdish National Council meetings, the secretary of the Kurdish Progressive Democratic Party in Syria, Abdel-Hamid Darwish, is expected to participate at Geneva II as a representative of the Kurdish National Council, in addition to another person who was not named.
Brimo said that Kurdish parties risked missing a historic opportunity for Syria’s Kurds to make their voices heard in the international arena by taking part in Geneva II.
Meanwhile, Kurdish—Arab Friendship Association chairman Salah Al-Din Badr Al-Din expressed concern about the Kurdish situation in Syria and the disagreements between the parties. He stressed that holding conferences and meetings, even at international level, “would not benefit the Kurdish people at all because all decisions made would not be implemented.”
Badr Al-Din told Asharq Al-Awsat that conferences and decision-making “take place without the will of the Syrian people, who are the owners of the issue.” He warned that these actions “would reflect negatively on the revolution and provide the ruling [Syrian] regime with a way out.”