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 Kurdish National Council of Syria KNCS invited to US to discuss the Kurdish issue

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Kurdish National Council of Syria KNCS invited to US to discuss the Kurdish issue  12.5.2012  

A delegation representing the Kurdish National Council of Syria (KNCS) with Qubad Talabani (C) the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in the United States. , Washington.
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May 12, 2012

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, — A delegation representing the Kurdish National Council of Syria (KNCS) is in the U.S. to discuss the Kurdish issue and the future in Syria after receiving an official invitation from the State Department.

Headed by Abdulhakim Bashar, chief of KNC foreign relations, accompanied by other senior council members, the Kurdish delegation began met with US officials including a number of members of congress, officials from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the national security advisor, Tom Donilon, in addition to Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria.

On Saturday, Bashar said that this visit aims at presenting the Kurdish political vision regarding the ongoing revolution in Syria, with the Kurdish issue being the main topic to be discussed.

"The invitation we received from U.S. Department of State could be seen as a strong indication of how important the Kurdish issue has become in Syria. It is becoming one of the primary issues and a serious effort needs to be made so it is resolved on a fair basis in the post-Assad Syria. The level of legitimacy the Kurdish National Council has representing Syria's Kurds was especially illustrated by this invitation," Bashar said.

Mustafa Ismayil, member of the KNC, said that the U.S. and other decision-making centers in the world want to investigate all kinds of views over the future of Syria after the overthrow of the current regime.

“Kurds represent the second nation in the country, after Arabs, and it is important to listen to their views about the most suitable solution to their issue in Syria, especially after decades of discrimination and persecution,” Ismayil said.

Ismayil asserted that the Kurdish delegation is in the U.S. to convey the real situation of the Kurds in Syria and the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Kurdish people after the fall of Assad regime.

The Kurdish issue in Syria has gained considerable attention after the participation of the Kurds in anti-Assad demonstrations and their emergence as a main and decisive power in the revolution.

The Kurdish National Council was established last October in Qamishly as a coalition of 10 parties. It is the first Kurdish political body to receive such an invitation from the State Department since the founding of the Kurdish political movement in Syria more than five decades ago.

However, some Kurdish activists still argue over whether the KNC will rise to their hopes and expectations.

Amin Othman, a Kurdish writer and activist, said that the demands of the delegation visiting the U.S. are still ambiguous.

“Will they convey a clear message to the U.S. Department of State about the popular demand of Kurds to the right to self-determination in Syria?” Othman asked. “Are they going to ask for international guarantees for the future of the Kurds amid the threats they face by the Arab opposition blocs, including the Syrian National Council and the National Coordinating Body? Is political decentralization for the Kurds in Syria one of the questions that will be discussed with the Americans?”

Othman criticized the KNC, saying that the council still lacks diplomatic experience, a fact which “might put the Kurdish issue in Syria at stake.”

“The U.S. is building a new vision regarding the outstanding issues in the Middle East, and the Kurdish issue seems to be on its agenda. The extent of the Kurds’ readiness, preparation and power will determine to what degree the Americans will stand by their side,” Othman concluded.

By Adib Abdulmajid

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