The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) has expressed its readiness to participate in a “genuine, constructive dialogue process” with the Damascus government. SDC considers this step to be one of the most important processes for resolving the Syrian crisis through a Russian-American consensus.
In remarks quoted by opposition websites, SDC president Sihanouk Dibo commented on the SDC delegation’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying: “The visit took place with a clear and specific agenda. In short, Moscow supports the Syrian dialogue, sponsoring the dialogue between Damascus, [the so-called] Autonomous Administration, and SDC. Moscow supports the inclusion of SDC within the Syrian political process, as well as SDC’s direct role in the Constitutional Committee.
Dibo pointed out that the agenda also included showing support for Moscow, so that no Syrian region remains cut off from humanitarian assistance, including areas under the Autonomous Administration’s control. In this context, Dibo explained that the parties had discussed the possibility of opening the al-Yaroubiyah crossing. This facility sits opposite the Yaroubiyah crossing on the Iraqi side, which is controlled by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias. The crossings could be used to deliver humanitarian aid under a potential settlement agreement.
At the meeting, Dibo indicated that it had been openly communicated that Moscow will not countenance continued Turkish presence on Syrian territory. Accordingly, Russia will not allow the Turkish military to invade areas under Autonomous Administration control or any other area in northern Syria.
On November 23th, Lavrov met with an SDC delegation, headed by the SDC’s executive head Ilham Ahmed, and Autonomous Administration leaders in Moscow. According to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement, the meeting discussed the situation in Syria, with a focus on the situation in the country’s northeast.
During the meeting, according to the statement, special attention was also paid to the task of reinvigorating a political settlement in Syria, grounded in UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
The visit’s timing is appropriate, in terms of avoiding the possibility of any Turkish escalation in north and northeast Syria. Nevertheless, Dibo believed that “Turkey’s Erdogan has had an unfavorable opportunity to conduct a military invasion in areas under the Autonomous Administration’s control; those unpropitious circumstances remain exactly the same and still militate against Turkey this time.”
Dibo said: “The visit of an SDC delegation came within the framework of inviting a key center of global power to share in our thinking and our project, which is to resolve the Syrian crisis according to its political course and based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”
Dibo addressed whether there is a need for Russia to support areas under the Autonomous Administration’s control, especially since support for the U.S. occupation is present and ongoing. In Dibo’s view, developing a consensus between Russia and the United States is one of the most important elements of resolving the Syrian crisis.
“Russia’s presence in Syria provides balance and stability. Russia’s support for Autonomous Administration areas, if it is forthcoming, will be an important step. This is especially true given the importance of field coordination between Russian and SDF forces, which is a key factor in achieving security and stability among the Syrian people in the areas under the Autonomous Administration’s control,” Dibo said.
Dibo explained that Moscow has once again confirmed that — in addition to sponsoring the dialogue between SDC and the Syrian government — SDC should be included in the political process, and particularly constitutional drafting.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.