On Feb. 4, Asya Abdullah, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), accompanied by a delegation, visited the Turkish parliament in Ankara to attend a meeting of pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP) parliamentarians. Abdullah told reporters they had not had any contacts with Turkey since their declaration of autonomous districts, but noted that they were open to dialogue.
She said that PYD co-chair Salih Muslim had meetings with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, but that those meetings have ceased. Abdullah said, “The more meetings the better. This is important for the future of Syria. We have projects for the future of Syria and we want to share them with everyone. Our basic approach is democratization of Syria. We want our proposals to be taken up when a Syria solution is discussed. We want to discuss this with Turkey.”
She said their declaration of “democratic autonomy” did not mean demarcating borders, and added: "A declaration of autonomy for three districts is not against anyone. It is a democratic system. Both in the charter and in the constitution there is no reference to dividing Syria and drawing up of borders. Of three top names in the Jazeera district, one is an Arab, one Assyrian and the other a Kurd. Diversity of representation in the Jazeera district has made positive impressions."
Abdullah said they want to share with Turkey their projects on the future of Syria. “Our basic approach is the democratization of Syria, which will be for the benefit of the Syrian people. We wish for a dialogue with Turkey on this,” she said.
Abdullah said there has been no agreement yet in Rojava meetings between the PYD and opposition groups close to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani. She said: "We are serving the entire Syrian population. We gave the best example of this in the Jazeera district, where top leaders are an Arab, an Assyrian and a Kurd. Moreover, 57 different institutions and organizations are represented, including Arabs and Christians. Contacts with [Barzani’s party] are continuing, but since the system they want deviates from our thinking, there is no agreement yet. They want the PYD and the BDP to form a superstructure and build a system under that. We reject this, as we want a system based on people with all their diversity.”
Abdullah disclosed that work has been underway to build the economic pillars of the autonomous entity, including production and marketing of oil. She said this is currently on the agenda of the Jazeera district, where they are preparing for international oil trade in the future. The ministries of commerce and economy of the three districts have been authorized to work on this issue. She concluded, "They are working on it. The person responsible for this issue in the Jazeera district is an Assyrian."
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