04:12 GMT +313 December 2019
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    In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, a Syrian flag flies above the village of Maaloula, north of Damascus, Syria

    US Will Not Recognize ‘Self-Rule’ Semi-Autonomous Kurdish Zone in Syria

    © AP Photo / Alexander Kots/Komsomolskaya Pravda via AP
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    US Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner stated that Washington remains committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will not recognize a ‘self-rule’ semi-autonomous Kurdish zone in Syria and remains committed to the country’s unity, US Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    A representative of the Syrian Kurdistan administration told Sputnik that representatives from various Syrian peoples, including Kurds, will discuss the possibility of Syria’s federalization at the Geneva reconciliation talks later on Wednesday.

    "We have not and will not recognize any ‘self-rule’ semi-autonomous zone,” Toner stated. “We remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Syria.”

    The representative explained that a joint commission of about 100 individuals plans to discuss Syria’s future, including the federalization of the country.

    On Wednesday, the head of the Damascus delegation to the Geneva proximity talks on the Syrian reconciliation Bashar Jaafari said that Syria's partition would lead to "total failure."

    UN Deputy Special Envoy Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy also said on Wednesday that Syria should maintain its territorial integrity.

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and radical Islamic groups. Geneva, Switzerland currently hosts the UN-backed proximity talks between the Syrian opposition and the government to put an end to the deadly conflict.

    The discussion of Syria's federalization during the ongoing peace talks has been supported by opposition factions represented in Geneva as well as the Syrian Kurds.

    However, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has rejected proposals for both, a federalization and partition of the country.

    While the Kurds are one of the largest ethnic groups in Syria, participants of the peace process, including Russia, have repeatedly stressed that reconciliation talks would fail to reach a political settlement unless they were allowed to participate.

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    Tags:
    Kurds, Syrian crisis, Mark Toner, United States, Syria
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