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Report: Syrian Kurds say ready to talk with Damascus government

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows Syrian Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian town of Tell Abyad, Raqqah province, Syria. (Photo by European Pressphoto Agency)

The so-called Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, commonly known as Rojava, has said it is open to negotiations with the Syrian government which is in the final stages of purging foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.

The foreign relations department of Rojava, in a statement issued on Saturday, responded positively to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s request for negotiations with the Damascus government, Kurdish Hawar news agency reported.

“The Syrian crisis can only be resolved through dialogue and a Syrian-Syrian understanding,” the statement read, adding that Syrian Kurds will make every effort to achieve such a goal, including talks with Damascus.

The report came a day after Lavrov said Moscow is ready to facilitate dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian Kurds provided that both sides stick to coherent positions.

“We are ready to encourage contacts and consultations but the sides need to have coherent positions,” he said on Friday, while warning that the Americans were pushing a considerable part of the Syrian Kurds towards separatism.

“I hope very much that those Kurds, who are interested in normalizing relations with Damascus, understand the provocative nature and see a big danger here,” the top Russian diplomat noted.

“Throughout the entire period of the crisis, especially after our military contingent was dispatched to Syria at the request of the legitimate government, we have been encouraging, even through our contacts on the ground, direct relations between Kurdish representatives and Damascus so that they could begin talks on how to live together in their country,” Lavrov said.

MEP: EU sanctions against Syria crime against humanity 

Separately, a member of the European Parliament condemned EU sanctions against Syrian government officials, businesses and entities, terming the restrictive measures as a punishment against ordinary people in the war-battered Arab country.

Independent Irish politician Mick Wallace wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Saturday that the EU sanctions, with their main aim to change the Damascus government, are a crime against humanity.

“EU [countries] must end their illegal regime change sanctions on Syria. They are a collective punishment against the people; they are a crime against humanity,” Wallace said.

The MEP called upon European countries to observe international law, and respect Syria’s sovereignty.

The EU imposed the first round of its sanctions against Syria in May 2011. They include travel bans, asset freezes and measures targeting operations like oil imports, certain investments as well as technology transfer.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US and the EU for waging economic terrorism on the country through their unilateral sanctions, holding them responsible for the suffering of the Syrian people, especially now that the country is grappling with a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Damascus has also been critical of the United Nations for keeping silent on the destructive role of the US and EU, among other parties supporting terrorism in Syria.


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