Kurds at Geneva Talks to Insist on Participation in Drafting Syrian Constitution

The Kurdish representatives at the ongoing intra-Syrian talks will insist on the Kurdish participation in drafting a constitution for Syria if a special working group is created.

The idea of creating working groups for the three baskets of issues at the intra-Syrian talks — constitution, elections, governance — was laid down by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in a procedural paper that he gave to the Syrian sides, according to Sputnik’s source.

“There must be a Kurdish participation in writing the constitution, and if there is no Kurdish participation [in working groups], the constitution will not be valid, Kurds will not agree on it,” the source said, asked whether the Kurds at the talks are going to participate in a working group on constitutional change if such a group is set up.

The Kurds do not have a special draft by now, but believe Syria should become a federation with an autonomous region for the Kurdish population, the Kurdish source added.

Earlier, a draft Syrian constitution, prepared by Russian experts, was presented to the Syrian opposition during the settlement talks in the capital of Kazakhstan. Head of the Russian delegation Alexander Lavrentyev underlined that Russia is not interfering in the consideration of the constitution but is presenting the draft to the opposition simply in order to accelerate the process.

The draft constitution removes the word “Arab” from the official name of the country, while “Government agencies and organizations of the Kurdish cultural autonomy shall use Arabic and Kurdish equally.”

The Syrian Kurds say they are a part of Syrian population and do not strive for independence, yet have previously called for more autonomy.

The Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) delegation at the current round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva includes one Kurdish representative.

 

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