The political leadership of the Syrian Kurds has paused talks with the Damascus government, its official representative in Moscow, Rshad Bienaf, told the Russian state-run news agency RIA News on January 14.
Bienaf claimed that the issue is the “democratic system”, which the Kurdish leadership demands. In turn, Damascus wants to restore a centralized rule of the contry.
The Kurdish official claimed that there was a “dialogue”, but no results were achieved because the Damascus government is not ready to change the constitution.
This statement contradicts to a recennt remark by Ayman Soussan, an assistant to the Syrian Foreign Minister. On January 13, he stressed that the talks between the sides were intensified due to a possible Turkish military operation in northern Syria.
“The Kurds are an integral part of the Syrian nation. We are sure that we are able to resolve a number of difficult issues through a dialogue, and this is guaranteed as long as the dialogue is based on the principle of territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people,” Soussan said at a press conference.
On January 9, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that Damascus intensified negotiations with Kurds in the northeastern part of the country.
In light of the [possible] Turkish invasion, we have recently stepped up contacts with the Kurdish side and intensified them to reflect the challenges that threaten the region,” Mikdad told media.
“Therefore I am always optimistic… we encourage these political groups to be sincere in dialogue that is happening now between the Syrian state and these groups, taking into account that there is no alternative to that,” he said.
Mekdad also recalled that in 2018 several rounds of talks were held between the sides.
Most likely, the observed shift of the public attitude of the Syrian Kurdish leadership could be linked to the recent statement by US President Donald Trump in which he threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if it attacks the Kurds.