Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and other small parties, including those representing Assyrian and Turkmen minorities. New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil tout “yes to independence.”
A frequent refrain from all parties to the conflict in Syria – whether it is the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson or President Assad himself – is that it is for Syrians to determine the future of Syria.
France is still seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria, foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Thursday, adding that diplomatic negotiations were a priority over possible military action.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed Monday the conflict in Syria, and other regional issues.
Reports say Damascus denied Staffan de Mistura’s request to meet with officials in Damascus.
A third round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria has officially gotten underway in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
Participants in the February 23, 2017, UN-sponsored Syria peace talks in Geneva should prioritize five key human rights issues during negotiations, 40 human rights and other organizations said today. The priorities are to end unlawful attacks, ensure aid access and safe passage for fleeing civilians, detainee rights, justice, and security sector reform.