Kurdish autonomy in North Syria stays politically isolated

A Kurdish official says the main Syrian Kurdish faction has declared a federal region in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria.
Nawaf Khalil, an official with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), says the announcement was made Thursday at a Kurdish conference being held in the town of Rmeilan in the northern province of Hassakeh.
The declaration comes as Syrian government representatives and their opponents are holding talks in Geneva on ways to end the war. The PYD, which is viewed by Turkey as a terrorist organization, has been excluded from those talks.
Khalil said that the federal region declared Thursday was called “Rojava – northern Syria.” Rojava is a Kurdish word that refers to three distinct enclaves, or cantons, under Kurdish control in northern Syria: Jazira, Kobani and Afrin.
The Syrian government and its opponents have rejected a declaration by Syrian Kurds of a federal region in northern Syria.
A statement issued by the Syrian Foreign Ministry says the declaration made in the town of Rmeilan in Syria’s Hassakeh province Thursday is unconstitutional and worthless.
It warned against any attempt to encroach upon the integrity of Syrian territories.
The Syrian National Coalition, one of the main Syrian opposition groups, also said it rejects such unilateral declarations and warned of any attempt to form autonomous regions that “confiscate the will of the Syrian people.”
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said it’s up to the Syrians themselves to decide on whether the country should become a federation.
He made the statement while asked to comment on a plan by the Syrian Kurds to declare a federal region in the area they control across northern Syria. Peskov emphasized that Russia has consistently pushed for the Kurds to be represented in Syria peace talks, adding that consensus is essential for determining Syria’s fate. He added that, “It’s important for Syria to remain a single state.”

http://bigstory.ap.org/11e22b99643548d7876bfc6111fa9a5d

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