NE SYRIA | Erbil | BRUSSELS
what's new? The Kurdish political arena in Rojava, "northeastern Syria", has recently witnessed periodic talks between the Kurdish parties with the support of a number of international and regional bodies, led by the United States of America and France, as the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue has become a factor of stability, coinciding with the economic and political fluctuations in Syria in general and northeastern Syria in particular, especially after the application of the Caesar Act and in light of the Turkish violations and the groups loyal to it in the areas it occupies. This dialogue prompted the Kurdish parties in Rojava to review their papers again, but this time in a more sensitive regional and international political atmosphere, As the Kurds are today at a crossroads, and their fate and the fate of all components in northeastern Syria is fraught with dangers in light of the multitude of international and regional players and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to have affected on the economies of major countries. Today, more than ever, it is required to reach a full-fledged political agreement to guarantee and preserve the rights of the Kurdish people and neighboring peoples, with the aim of reaching political and economic stability in the northeast.
Why is this dialogue Maters? This dialogue is of great importance in reaching political and economic stability, as we mentioned earlier, not only in northeastern Syria, but throughout Syria. The presence of a stable and secure region would reduce the complexities of the Syrian file, which is characterized by multilateralism and that it is a complex conflict in a vertical and horizontal manner. The conflict in Syria today is no longer. As it was at its inception in 2011 between the Syrian government and the opposition only, but today it has become a multilateral conflict that includes areas of regional and international influence in addition to religious and national conflicts that exceeded the borders of one country. Consequently, there is a logical need to deal with the conflict according to the current form and work to find solutions partially at the political level as well as it happened and is happening at the security level. This would create spaces and stabilizing factors paving the way to preparing a solid ground for a comprehensive political transition. The dialogue, in its first stage, is to lead to saving a part of Syria from economic and social devastation and devastation, and to constitute a safe haven and base for building a better future for all Syrians.
The other importance is that the success of the dialogue may help weaken the Syrian government, thus contributing to building balanced fronts at the negotiating table and pushing the Syrian government to dialogue in a serious manner. On the other hand, some participants believe that the success of the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue will lead to the formation of a unified political reference between the parties. Kurdish in Rojava / northeastern Syria to represent the Kurdish people in any Syrian political process, and it will enhance the opportunities for Kurdish participation in Geneva, which in turn contributes to strengthening this path, and many of the parties hindering the formation of a unified Kurdish front see the Kurdish-Kurdish dispute as papers and justifications. Each side uses it for its own agendas, and thus the unification of the Kurdish ranks will subject a number of regional and international parties, led by Turkey and the Syrian government, to accept and negotiate with the Kurds. Finally, the success of the Kurdish dialogue will reflect positively on the economic, social, military and civil aspects in northeastern Syria in the medium and long term, which may help in the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, in addition to those forcibly displaced from conflict areas. Internal and external factors and their implications for the political vision among the Kurdish parties?
There are many challenges that may constitute an obstacle to the success of the dialogue, perhaps the most prominent of which is the lack of full political will on the part of the negotiating parties, as it is known that the two parties have several different currents. Visions of dialogue, which is divided into two broad streams, one of which sees the feasibility and importance of sharing power and political and economic influence, and the other that there is no benefit from this participation and that it will increase the complexities of the situation. The other challenge is that the Kurdish dialogue is linked to the influential Kurdish axes (Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Qandil) and the success of this dialogue depends on the agreement of these three parties on a common vision related to the Kurdish dialogue or for the dialogue to be permanently separated from these axes, which seems difficult in light of geopolitical complications in the Middle East.
The success of the dialogue will harm some of the interests of the Astana countries (Russia, Turkey and Iran) in addition to the Syrian government, as all of them seek to impose a negative atmosphere and put up barriers to reaching a unified political vision among the Kurdish parties, although the dialogue is still in the beginning and progress phase. The success of the dialogue will harm some of the interests of the Astana countries (Russia, Turkey and Iran) in addition to the Syrian government, as all of them seek to impose a negative atmosphere and put up barriers to reaching a unified political vision among the Kurdish parties, although the dialogue is still in the beginning and progress phase. Finally, it becomes clear that there has been a big gap in the visions between the sponsors of the dialogue, the United States and the countries of the coalition, and despite the attempts to isolate the Kurdish dialogue from political and economic changes in the sponsoring countries, everyone is waiting for what the American elections will lead to, especially since the current US administration has its short-term vision, which is It centers on working to find stability and then a political agreement with Russia that ensures the preservation of US allies.
What should be done? Inclusion and participation: There are deficiencies in the process of inclusion and participation in the dialogue, which is represented in keeping civil society and women away from the frameworks of ongoing dialogues, and this may negatively affect the efforts made at a time when we are looking to expand the base of dialogue with the participation of all parties that would push the wheel of dialogue forward, The inclusion process and its limitations are not limited to the absence of civil society and women, but rather it extends to include some Kurdish parties outside the two dialogue frameworks, the most prominent of which is my party (the Kurdish Democratic Union in Syria, the Kurdish Progressive Democratic Party in Syria).
Lack of transparency: The issue of lack of transparency must be addressed through the establishment of an accredited media center that interacts and shares the outputs of the dialogue with public opinion. This matter will positively address the state of chaos and confusion that some media agencies and social media may put forward, which - of course - will enhance confidence between the parties and public opinion. The issue of detainees: It is imperative to continue the efforts that are being made to address the file of political detainees, leading to the release of everyone unconditionally, the disclosure of the fate of the kidnapped, and the accountability of all those involved in these violations, regardless of the actor.
Education: The issue of education and educational curricula is one of the biggest challenges facing the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue, not only for the Kurdish political parties, but also for all components of northeastern Syria. Therefore, a neutral technocratic committee must be formed to set an educational system that reflects and serves all components of northeastern Syria. The educational process must be neutral and completely independent from all political currents, and the United Nations can play an active role, in particular UNESCO, to participate in the activation of curricula and ensure that the educational process remains outside the political frameworks of all actors, as well as the development of mechanisms that will monitor and evaluate the educational process to maintain the neutrality, independence and advancement of education.
The Social Contract and Governance: It is not permissible for two political parties to form the social contract or form of governance alone without expanding the base of participation and without having a strategy that leads to building neutral institutions, this carries with it great risks that will build non-neutral institutions that lead to political quotas that produce weak institutions. It may also lead to depriving citizens of their right to shape the future of their country. Therefore, the process of establishing the social contract must be a process that enjoys inclusion and wide participation, and it must be developed through a comprehensive national dialogue, and then strategic frameworks for the government process can be developed in a way that does not leave behind the social contract that It is supposed to express all components, whether political or social.
Military forces: The Syrian Democratic Forces and other security agencies are the main bearer of the security stability brigade in northeastern Syria, and therefore work must be done on building a neutral military institution far from private political agendas and political parties. Talking about dividing the authorities within this institution is like a ticking bomb. It explodes at any time. It is not possible to build a military establishment from a party or tribal military force. The question remains about who can hold this force accountable in the absence of an elected and unified parliament, in the absence of an independent and capable judiciary, and finally in the absence of a constitution that represents all.
The role that civil society organizations and women can play? Civil society organizations and women can play an active role through monitoring and evaluation of dialogue between the parties, and they can play an intermediary role in promoting convergence of views through mobilization, advocacy, community dialogues, involving other components (Christian forces and Arab clans in the region) in dialogue and including their needs and demands within the peace agreement to be signed, as well as an advisory role, and organizations and women can participate directly in the dialogue and can add great value to the dialogue.
Note: This paper was based on discussions between 16 local organizations on 15/07/2020 and does not represent the point of view of all participating organizations.
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