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Kurdish Push for Autonomy Must Not Derail Syrian Peace Talks - US Senator

© REUTERS / Denis BalibouseThe delegation of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) attends a news conference after a meeting during Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland
The delegation of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) attends a news conference after a meeting during Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International
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US Senator Chris Coons expressed his hope that the recent Kurdish call for an autonomous federal region in Syria will not negatively impact the ongoing Syrian peace negotiations.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — Earlier in the day, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and allied groups announced the creation of a federal region in northern Syria. The Syrian government responded by saying that the Kurds’ unilateral decision had no legal power.

"My hope is that the very difficult question of Kurdish autonomy within Syria [will] not prove to be a stumbling block to a successful peace negotiation between all the interested parties," Coons told Sputnik on Thursday.

Coons, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that the UN-brokered peace process in Syria is aimed at "finding a path forward… where the people of Syria can choose their future governance structure."

The Syrian Kurds have also managed to take control over a portion of an "incredibly divided country" that is relatively "less conflicted, less unstable," he explained.

Coons also criticized the central government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, arguing the government has "lost legitimacy" and "doesn’t have control of a majority of its own country."

The Kurdish bid for an autonomous federal region came amidst the UN-sponsored intra-Syrian talks taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. The Syrian Kurds have been excluded from the Geneva talks, which are aimed at achieving a political transition in the country that has been mired in civil war since 2011.

Kurds’ Bid for Autonomy Can Indicate Crisis of Confidence in Syria’s Future

The serious push for a Kurdish autonomous federal region in northern Syria could indicate a collapse in confidence for the future of that country, US Senator Tim Kaine told Sputnik on Thursday.

"It’s either a way of saying they see no end in sight [in the Syrian civil war], or even if there is some brokered deal, they don’t want to be part of what’s next," Kaine suggested, noting the complexity of the situation.

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