Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist held a video conference with Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF’s) Commander Mazloum Abdi and Çiya Kurd, the Vice Co-Chair of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) on 19 April.
The latest political developments and military and humanitarian concerns were reportedly discussed during the meeting.
Abdi stressed the need for Sweden’s ongoing support for a solution for the Syrian crisis and requested that support continue over military cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Daesh).
“A permanent solution is needed in Syria. In order to ensure safety of the region, an effective struggle should be waged against the ISIS cells”, Abdi said.
The SDF Commander also talked about the SDF’s “Humanity and Security” campaign which started on 28 March against ISIS cells inside Al-Hol camp in Syria and he urged the repatriation of refugees from the Al-Hol camp.
Sweden’s Defence Minister Hultqvist reportedly stated that the international coalition should continue to work to “establish security” in Syria.
“As Sweden, we are ready to cooperate and support you in the long term. We need to find a solution for detention centres and detainees. Personally, I am working on building new and improved detention centres and in improving conditions in old centres”, Hultqvist said.
Hultqvist pointed out that ISIS should be defeated to ensure conditions of a “secure and honourable” life in Syria are realised.
The AANES Vice Co-Chair Çiya Kurd appealed for international support for the re-construction efforts of the Autonomous Administration in Syria and for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Sweden’s Ambassador Staffan Herrström to Ankara on 20 April following Hultqvist’s video call with the SDF commander and the vice co-chair of the Autonomous Administration, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The national media in Turkey has covered the meeting using provocative headlines which many commentators feel promotes black propaganda relating to “terrorism”, mainly accusing Sweden’s Minister of “cooperating with terrorism” by participating in the video call.