Interviews & Dialogues

Kurds need to seek cooperation with Syrian Arab nationals, not the opposite: ANC

Urfa, Turkey – Many political assemblies as well as national parties were established since the start of Syrian crisis more three years ago.

Recently, the southern Turkish city of Urfa witnessed the establishment of the Syrian Arab National Council (ANC) of Hasakah province by a number of Arab nationalists.

In an interview with ARA News, spokesman of the ANC,Faysal al-Dofayri, talked about the purpose of the council and its attitude towards other national and Kurdish political forces in Syria.

Al-Dofayri pointed out that the council “will unify the sporadic efforts of Hasakah activists” and be “a role model for other regions”.

“The constituent conference in June was attended by our fellow Syrian citizens present in Turkey where many deliberations took place,” he said.

The ANC established several specialized offices to be more institutionalized with self-efforts. “We do not receive any support from any Syrian, regional or international actor.”

Talking about the “Democratic Auto-Administration” (led by the Democratic Union Party “PYD” in northern Syria where Kurds constitute a majority), al-Dofayri said: “It is a pure national effort.”

“We are happy with any mutual collaboration with parties that advocate our national issues.” he added.

However, Al-Dofayri stressed: “There is no communication yet between our council (ANC) and the Auto-Administration.”

Answering ARA News about the possibility of joining the Auto-Administration (which is mainly staffed by Kurdish members), al-Dofayri said: “The Administration should join the Arab National Council, not the opposite, as our council is more extended and more representative of the social components in the Syrian northeastern areas.”

Al-Dofayri confirmed the Council’s intention to unify the different efforts and societal components on “the unified Syrian land under the sole Syrian flag” (in reference to the ANC’s rejection of raising a Kurdish national flag).

Regarding the recently established Arab National Council’s relation with the Kurdish National Council (KNC) –coalition of 16 Syrian Kurdish parties– Al-Dofayri said: “The nationalistic concept is so flexible, some people believe in it and others finds it illegitimate.”

“We all have the same destiny and demand citizenship rights for all components. We praise all ideas based first on the national concept.” spokesman of the ANC told ARA News.

According to al-Dofayri, having a body like the KNC would facilitate the serious cooperation with Kurds “not dealing with separate parties that all claim representing Kurds”.

Talking about federalism in Syria, al-Dofayri argued: “Big issues cannot be decided by one faction on the ground now; all Syrians are concerned to decide on such matters.”

“There are many democratic ways to decide on this issue. For example, ballot boxes,” he said.

About the Islamic State’s announcement of “Caliphate” and its control of Arab-majority areas south of Syria’s Hasakah, al-Dofayri told ARA News: “Our first enemy is the Assad regime with its men and allies as well as everyone stands against the Syrian revolution.”

He added that the Syrian people would decide the ruling system. “However we aim for a democratic civil state.”

Al-Dofayri defended the establishment of the Arab National Council, responding to the accusations by some Arab tribes in Hasakah province of trying to disorder the Arab community and excluding Hasakah’s notables from the constituent conference of the Arab National Council (ANC).

“Everyone has the right to express his opinion. We hope Arabs, Kurds and others to unite confronting the current repressive regime,” ANC’s spokesperson said.

Concerning the current situation in Iraq and the intention of Iraqi Kurds to announce independence, al-Dofayri believes that people of Iraq know their interests best concerning the announcement of a Kurdish State in northern Iraq.

Talking about the “new Middle East map”, al-Dofayri said: “There is no new map, and separation attempts did not succeed in modern day world.”

Concluding his interview with ARA News, al-Dofayri invited all Syrian forces, including the Syrian National Coalition(largest opposition umbrella),  to unite in order to save Syria.

Interviewed by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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