Syrian Kurds should fight alongside Arabs to guarantee rights, opposition figure says

24-05-2013
ARA News – Exclusive
In an exclusive interview with ARA News, the prominent opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun said that the Kurdish political parties didn’t make any remarkable efforts to build close ties with other opposition groups “such as the National Coalition or Revolutionary and opposition forces, or the Syrian National Council SNC”. Ghalioun, a founding member and former chief of the SNC, accused leaders of the Kurdish political parties of “non-seriousness”with regard to the involvement in the political process within the opposition, adding that the Kurdish political forces “insist to hold a distance” and “work independently”. However, he praised the role of the Kurdish young activists in the revolution.

”During my term of leadership in the Syrian National Council, I made considerable efforts to convince the Kurdish political parties to join the SNC, but in vain,” he told ARA News.“We have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of the presence of an efficient Kurdish representation within the council; however, it seems as if there is no real will to accomplish such a step, and the exaggerated demands could be an evident to this unwillingness.”

Demands of the Kurds in Syria can’t be decided at the moment
According to Ghalioun, no decisions can currently be taken regarding the Kurdish rights and those should be left to the representative parliament in post-Assad Syria.
“Only a Parliament constituted by Kurds and Arabs, will be authorized to decide on all issues concerning the Syrians,” he said, adding: “I personally cannot claim the capability of granting the Kurds the right to self-determination, and if I would issue such a statement, I would definitely be usurping the right of the people to decide by themselves what they aspire to. We bear a temporary responsibility towards the Syrian people due to the current circumstances, and the Kurds should fight side-by-side with us, only then the rights of all the Syrians will be ensured and preserved within a unified Syria”.
Ghalioun criticized the way Ghassan Hito was elected as head of interim government
According to Ghalioun, some external powers try to impose their choices on the opposition’s National Coalition, and electing Mr. Hito to lead a Syrian interim government is considered a result of one party’s will without trying to reach any compromise between the different parties.
“The inability to reach a consensus among the opposition’s factions –political and armed– on the figure of Ghassan Hito indicates the failure of the interim government before its formation,” he stated. “Governments that support the opposition, particularly Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia need to reach an agreement on who to nominate for an interim governmentś leadership; otherwise, the election would be of no value.”
It is said that Ghassan Hito refuses to give up his position even after the enormous pressures.
“Hito’s stance may lead to serious rifts within the National Coalition. We should remember that this issue is of national interests for all the Syrians, and it is never limited to one figure,” Ghalioun argued, adding: “A lot of mistakes were made by the opposition towards the Syrian people and their cause, and to apologize is recommended since it is for the sake of Syria and its people.”

Divisions within the opposition

Ghalioun pointed out that the current division within the opposition stems from the different stances of each faction on the developments across Syria. However, he still believes that a unification is possible, but requires few serious steps.

In order to reach a unifying umbrella for the different bodies of opposition formed over the last months, we need to take into consideration the challenges we face in this sensitive phase,” Ghalioun said. “A collective umbrella should be inclusive without marginalizing any group, it should be established on the principle of pluralism and equal right to participation, and it has to provide a platform for the different opinions in an organized way, so that all the relevant and essential issues should be discussed openly and the clear options have to be made concerning the internal and external issues. Thus, everyone should carry out the responsibility assigned.”

According to Ghalioun, the totalitarian policies of the Assad regime eliminated any kind of opposition,  “and suppression seems to have left its impacts on the general political environment, even among the opposition forces.”

“The Kurdish political movement can be considered an exception, because it evolved despite the persecution of the regime,” he argued. “A clear concept of opposition emerged with the start of the ongoing revolution; beside the revolutionary movement, a political awakening started inside and outside of Syria. However, the opposition couldn’t reflect a clear image of a post-dictatorship Syria, and the lack of sufficient or efficient organization may have played a crucial role in that,” Ghalioun concluded.

 
Interview By: Rebwar Boski
Translated by: Rwaida al-Harfoush
 
Source: ARA News
 

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