On Saturday, the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta published an article about how “Moscow is activating its contacts with various Kurdish forces to help Damascus regain control of the northeastern regions of Syria,” according to Russia Today’s website.
According to the newspaper, the Syrian leadership and the so-called Kurdish Autonomous Administration have “embarked on the next round of talks on economic and political exchange.”
Damascus insists that Kurdish militias, which form the basis of the security structure in the eastern region, be fully integrated into the government’s forces and that oil fields be returned to state control. At the same time, according to the newspaper, “it is primarily important for the Kurds to establish their own legal status.”
The newspaper quoted Anton Mardasov, a visiting researcher at the Middle East Institute in Washington and expert from the Russian Council for International Affairs, as saying: “The reason for the intensification of negotiations between Damascus and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, the Autonomous Administration’s military wing) lies in U.S. policy. Mardasov added: “The Biden administration is adopting a rough middle ground on the Syrian issue, not showing that Syria is a priority issue for the United States in any way. This stance may be a deliberate policy to avoid provoking unnecessary debate on this issue and the United States’ ongoing military presence.”
“The Kurds are also concerned. This concern exists even though they have received assurances from Washington through military and political channels, and U.S. delegations visit them regularly. Nevertheless, the Kurds are worried and remember the former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. They have also seen what happened in Afghanistan.”
Mardasov explained that the Kurds have not closed the door to Moscow and Damascus. Nevertheless, Mardasov ruled out the notion that new rounds of dialogue between Damascus and SDF will result in anything new. He said: “The Kurds try to say that they are ready to cooperate with Damascus and even develop oil extraction in partnership with the government. But they have political priorities that Damascus does not share, and never will.”
Meanwhile, Pedersen said, while participating in the Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation in Italy: “The Syrian Constitutional Committee cannot resolve the conflict in Syria on its own, without receiving help.”
He considered it necessary to build a little trust between other parties, through mutual steps, that could be verified and measured. He considered that discussing the restoration of relations with the Syrian Government was up to the Arabs and Europeans.
He stressed that there could be proof and adoption of the political track and process, particularly the Constitutional Committee, and the declaration of the issues wanting to be discussed by other countries, on the negotiating table.
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.