On Friday, Hubert Cooreman, ambassador of Belgium in Lebanon, pledged to seek recognition of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and its democratic project and offer it security and economic support.
This came during a visit by a Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation headed by Cooreman to northeastern Syria during a meeting with the co-chair of the Executive Council of the Jazira Region, Nazira Gawriya, in the city of Amuda.
Earlier, the AANES handed over six Belgian women and 16 children family members of the Islamic State Organization (ISIS) held in Syria to the Belgian government.
The AANES was first formed in 2014 in the Kurdish-majority regions of Afrin, Kobani and Jazira in northern Syria following the withdrawal of the government forces. Later, it was expanded to Manbij, Tabqa, Raqqa, Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defeated ISIS militarily.
The two parties focused on the necessity of finding a political solution in Syria per UN Resolution No.2254.
Turkish threats and its successive attacks on areas of northeastern Syria were also discussed, and the economic and humanitarian situation of IDPs in camps.
On May 23th, Erdogan announced taking steps to complete the so-called remained portions of the “safe zone” plan along Turkey’s southern border saying, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30 km deep safe zone we established along our southern border.”
The Turkish “safe zone” is an area of 30-35 km (19-22 miles) deep into Syrian territory that Turkey started establishing in 2019 to house Syrian refugees in an area along its border with Syria, as well as to keep it free from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it regards as terrorists.
On May 25th, Turkey’s National Security Council said that Turkey’s “existing and future military operations along its southern borders were necessary for the country’s security.” In the meeting, Erdogan delivered a speech to the MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said, “Turkish military would continue to rid its neighbour of terrorists” refers to the SDF.
On June 1st, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his threats to launch a military operation on northern Syria and specified his targets in the two Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat, which include many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
During the meeting, Gawriya said that the Turkish threats started since the establishment of the AANES to destabilize security in the region.
Cooreman pointed out that the Belgian government supports a comprehensive political solution in Syria that guarantees permanent peace, stressing that his country will continue to provide humanitarian aid that benefits Syria’s population.
In the city of Qamishli, Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the AANES Department of Foreign Relations, received the Belgian delegation. He demanded that support is provided to the administration to “improve the security and humanitarian conditions inside prisons and camps.”
Cooreman praised the role of the SDF in their fight against ISIS in Syria, stressing its contribution to the international fight against terrorism.
Since early 2022, the AANES has handed over 81 children from ISIS families and 25 women, mothers of these children, to foreign delegations, according to statistics carried out by the Department of Foreign Relations in the AANES.
This article was 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.