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    A Kurdish man waves a large flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), during a demonstration against the exclusion of Syrian-Kurds from the Geneva talks in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on February 4, 2016

    Kurds Disagree With Assad’s Logic Against Syrian Federalism

    © AFP 2019 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
    Middle East
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    Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party representative to the United States Mehmet Yuksel said that if Assad believes minorities in Syria are not eligible to form a federal system, one can easily argue that the president’s Alawite minority should not have been able to rule over a central state for more than 50 years.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Syrian President Bashar Assad’s argument that his country is too small for the Kurds to declare a federal region contradicts examples in other countries that are half the size of Syria, Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party representative to the United States Mehmet Yuksel told Sputnik on Thursday.

    Assad told Sputnik in an interview published on Wednesday that Syria was too small for federalization, and claimed most Kurds wanted the country to remain united. Earlier this week, Assad told French lawmakers that Kurds would be a minority within their own territory.

    "Assad does not approve the federal state declared by the Kurds in Syria by making the argument that ‘Syria is a little country and Kurds are the minority within it’," Yuksel stated. "However, what about Belgium and Switzerland? They are not even half the size of Syria, but have adapted [a] federal system as their governing system."

    Moreover, Yuksel noted, if Assad believes minorities in Syria are not eligible to form a federal system, one can easily argue that the president’s Alawite minority should not have been able to rule over a central state for more than 50 years.

    The bigger problem, Yuksel observed, is that Assad should have previously upheld Kurdish liberties, but instead his authoritarian-style of governance has left the country in ruins.

    "The issue is not the type of system in Syria, but Assad's reluctancy to acknowledge the status and the rights of the Kurds in the country," Yuksel argued.

    At a constituent conference in the Hasakah province on March 17, the 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.

    Kurds expect that the federation would unite separated national communities as well as their militias to counter terrorists in the region.

    Russia has repeatedly stated that Syria's territorial integrity was a critically important issue for the majority of states taking part in the process to settle the Syrian crisis. Last month, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would support the establishment of a federal republic in Syria if the Syrians themselves decided that that is what is best for their country.

    Related:

    Kurdish Representative Says Assad 'Not Ready' for Political Transition
    Assad Believes Kurds Have Little Interest in the Break Up of Syria
    Syrian Kurds See Federalism as Good Option for the Country's Ethnic Groups
    Tags:
    federalization, Syrian crisis, Mehmet Yuksel, Bashar al-Assad, Syria
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