Statement regarding the Document “Executive Framework for a Political Solution”, presented in London on 07 September 2016
The Kurdish population in Syria participated in the peaceful revolution, the revolution of freedom and dignity, since its beginning in March 2011. The Kurdish population was standing side by side with the Syrians who took to the streets and organised peaceful demonstrations to protest against oppression and dictatorship. This participation was emphasised by the accession of the Kurdish National Council to the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces in 2013, accompanied by an agreement safeguarding the minimum Kurdish demands in Syria.
After the summit in Riyadh, the Kurds seriously tried to act in the framework of the Syrian opposition delegation to Geneva III. Despite numerous provocative statements of some opposition figures against the Kurds, e.g. Asaad al-Zoubi, we made a lot of efforts to continue our work in the High Negotiations Committee and the Negotiations Delegation in Geneva. It is no secret that the Kurdish National Council worked together with the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces to overcome all obstacles and find a common vision for the future of Syria. Likewise, the Kurdish National Council cooperated with the High Negotiations Committee and presented its ideas in order to draft a document fulfilling the expectations of all Syrians, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.
It is necessary to mention that the Kurdish National Council submitted several suggestions for amendments of the document (Executive Framework), but unfortunately, none of them was considered. Hence, the presentation of the document in London was disappointing for all Syrians, it did not fullfill their expectations, and did not give them security regarding their future. Furthermore, the document almost denied the ethnic and religious diversity of the country, a diversity the dictatorial regime already tried to eradicate. This looks like a restoration of the Syrian regime with all its ideological and totalitarian aspects, a regime that is responsible for the developments we experience today and for the exclusion of people who are different as well as for the non-recognition of the specific features of other population groups and their rights.
Right after the Kurdish National Council got informed about the final version of the document, it sent a letter to the General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee, Riad Hijab, on September 6, 2016, that is before the beginning of the London conference, and stated its reservations regarding the document. The most important ones are:
1- The ignorance of Syria’s diversity by considering Syria as part of the Arab homeland.
2 – Stating that the “Arab Islamic culture represents a fertile source for intellectual production and social relations” – this ignores the contribution of other components of the Syrian people in the Syrian history and their cultures which shaped the Syrian civilisation for thousands of years.
3 – The fact that Arabic is declared the only official language in the country denies the Kurdish language in the Kurdish areas which are inhabited mainly by Kurds.
4 – There is no recognition of the Kurdish people and its national, linguistic, cultural and political rights, according to international treaties and conventions, in the constitution of a unified Syria.
5 – The system of administrative decentralisation is a copy of the system of local councils installed by the Assad regime, hence, again, it is a restoration of its totalitarianism.
6 – We oppose the provision that relevant decisions concerning an ethnic group may be taken by majority vote instead of consensus.
Therefore, the Kurdish National Council does not recognize this document as binding and did not attend the conference in London. Additionaly, the KNC informed the countries which were represented there about its position.
Thus, the Kurdish National Council calls upon the High Negotiations Committee to review the “Executive Framework” document. The KNC highlights that it endeavours to collaborate and act inside the High Negotiations Committee, affirming at the same time that disregarding the demands of the Kurdish people will force the KNC to cope with its responsibility and to search for other options.
We, the Kurdish National Council, want to express that we support all international efforts, according to the Geneva Communiqué (2012) and other related international decisions. Moreover, we reiterate that all solutions which do not meet the Syrians’ expectations regarding the establishment of a federal, parliamentarian, democratic Syria with a constitution that guarantees the national rights of the Kurdish people, will not lead to security and stability for Syria and the region.
Qamișlo, 09 September 2016
General Secretariat of the Kurdish National Council in Syria