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    Syrian men walk past a poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus, on February 27, 2016, as the first major ceasefire of the five-year war takes hold and an international task force prepares to begin monitoring the landmark truce

    Assad Believes Kurds Have Little Interest in the Break Up of Syria

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    The Syrian President believes the majority of the Kurds would want to live in a united Syria.

    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Bashar Assad believes that the majority of the Kurds want to live in a united Syria, not in the federalized country. 

    ​“The issue of federalization is linked to the constitution, a constitution needs people’s consent, however there is an understanding that a certain change is needed with regard to the Kurds’ federation. Most of the Kurds want to live within a unified Syria, within the framework of centralized power in the political sense, and not federal,” the Syrian president said in an interview with Sputnik.

    He highlighted that “we must not confuse Kurds who want a federal regime with all of Kurds.” “It is possible that there are people — not Kurds, there are few of them in the general scale — who are also striving for this, but the idea is that this proposition has not been put forward by the Syrian society. I do not think that this proposition, in case of it being brought up for a vote, would be approved by the Syrian people,” he stressed. 

    ​The federalization of Syria is impossible, because the country is too small:

    “From the geographical perspective, Syria is a very small country for federalization to exist in it. It is perhaps smaller than most of Russia’s republics. From the sociological perspective, a federation requires that components of the society are present that may not be able to get along with each other. This has not happened in the history of Syria, but it’s the main principle. I do not think that Syria is ready for federalization, there are no natural factors for it to be possible,” the Syrian president said.

    Assad stressed that “in the end, as a state, we say that we will agree to everything that the people agree to.”

    At the constituent conference in the Hasakah province on March 17, Syrian Kurds announced the creation of a federal region in the country's north — the so-called Federal Democratic System of Rojava and Northern Syria. Some 200 delegates from Syria’s north, inhabited by Kurds, attended the conference. It is expected that the “federation” would unite separated national communities as well as their militias to counter Islamic State and Nusra Front militants (outlawed in Russia.)

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