The Parliament of Catalonia on Tuesday evening announced that it officially recognises the existences of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
During a parliamentary vote of the proposed resolution, a majority of 80 parliamentarians voted in favour and 49 voted against that has resulted in the first official recognition of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, formerly known as Rojava.
The parliament now officially urges all Catalan institutions to establish institutional relations with the AANES and to help the reconstruction efforts in Rojava and throughout northeastern Syria.
The resolution passed today was first proposed to the Catalan Parliament in July as a draft resolution calling for the recognition of the AANES as a political entity and to further deepen institutional ties with the AANES.
With this resolution, the Catalan Parliament has recognised the AANES as a legitimate administration “based on democratic confederalism as a political entity”.
“The Parliament of Catalonia values the potential of democratic confederalism as a peaceful, inclusive, democratic and co-existence solution in the Middle East based on municipalism, feminism and social ecologism,” the resolution reads.
After first being established in Rojava (meaning “west” in Kurdish, Western Kurdistan) in 2012 as a result of the Kurdish-led peoples’ struggles, AANES currently governs nearly one-third of Syria.
Adopting a radically democratic political system developed by the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan – known as “democratic confederalism” – the system of AANES is based on women’s freedom and equal participation in all political representation levels as well as the autonomy and cooperation of communities and religiously diverse groups.
Having been praised for its commitment to pluralism, gender equality and direct democracy, AANES continues to face several challenges, especially from Turkey (which has repeatedly attacked NE Syria), ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad government.
Although the US government and other regional governments have so far refused to recognise AANES, it has been functioning as an autonomous region as several regions in northeastern Syria voted in March 2016 to join together in a self- governed system that would seek autonomy within Syria.
In its 2021 Annual Report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended that the US government “recognise AANES as a legitimate, local government.”
The US Commission’s report called upon the US government to pressurise Turkey to begin planning its withdrawal from the region. The new US administration under President Joe Biden has raised hopes in AANES that it may find more sympathy in Washington.