The Astana talks have now entered a new phase where the narrative surrounding terrorism seems to align with Turkey’s interests, encompassing the Syrian Kurds, said Bedran Çiya Kurd, the co-president of the Department for External Affairs in the Autonomous Administration for North and East Syria (AANES).
Çiya Kurd’s statements during an interview on Friday with Hawar News Agency (ANHA) came after the 20th Astana Talks on Syria concluded on Wednesday, resulting in a joint statement issued by Turkey, Russia, Syria, and Iran, which primarily focused on their strong opposition to the Kurdish-led AANES and “clearly reflected Turkey’s wishes and demands”.
Looking ahead, Çiya Kurd suggested that the focus would now shift towards the relations between Turkey and Syria. Efforts will be made to forge closer ties and seek agreements, particularly in the realms of military and intelligence. This indicates a broader strategy orchestrated by Russia to foster a rapprochement between the two states.
However, outlining the path towards resolving the Syrian conflict, Çiya Kurd cautioned against such collaborations, warning that they would pose a significant threat and constitute a grave mistake on the part of the Damascus government. He argued that by aligning with the Turkish government, Syria’s sovereignty and unity would be endangered.
Çiya Kurd strongly criticised the portrayal of the Kurdish-led AANES as a divisive project aimed at fracturing Syria, dismissing it as a “blatant hypocrisy.” Arguing that such accusations were solely driven by the Turkish government’s demands, he emphasised that the AANES has consistently presented itself as a Syrian national project, actively seeking a resolution within the country’s borders for years. However, the Astana talks neglected to address the presence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkish-backed Syrian rebel factions, instead focusing on the Kurdish forces in Kurdish-led regions. Çiya Kurd contended that this skewed approach underscores Turkey’s significant influence over the outcomes of these meetings.
In response to allegations of the AANES posing a threat to Turkey’s national security, Çiya Kurd vehemently refuted the claims, placing the blame on Turkey for jeopardising Syria’s and North and East Syria’s security. He pointed out that the meeting failed to acknowledge Turkey’s incursion into Syrian lands or the armed groups under its control.
Çiya Kurd also shed light on the discussions surrounding Israel’s attacks and humanitarian issues in Syria during the Astana meeting. “There was a reaction to Israel’s attacks on Syria. They consider it an insult and say it is not in accordance with international law. This is hypocrisy. The Turkish state is attacking our regions every day, and civilians are dying,” said the Syrian Kurdish politician, stressing that the Turkish aggression has not been mentioned in the meeting despite the fact that several Syrian military personnel have also lost their lives in recent Turkish air strikes against the Kurdish forces in Syria.
“If there are violations on Syrian territory today, all of them should be seen, and a stance should be taken against them. Serious decisions should be made to end the occupation and stop these Turkish attacks.”
He urged the international community to recognise and address all violations in Syria, emphasising the importance of taking decisive measures against Turkey to protect Syria’s sovereignty and security.