Duvar English

Ilham Ahmed, the head of the executive committee of the Syria Democratic Council, has said that Russia mediated political negotiations between the Kurds and the Syrian government.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ahmed said that the formation of a “higher committee” that would address the administration of the autonomous region in eastern Syria was also a possibility.

She said that a Russian envoy had met with Kurdish, Arab and Christian officials from northeastern Syria at the Hmeimim air base at the end of 2019.

Discussions focused on how to “develop” the dialogue, Ahmed explained.

“Are we part of this dialogue or not? What framework will they be held in?”

Ahmed said the parties were still in the very early discussions with Damascus.

“Moving forward from dialogue to serious discussions requires an agenda and plan that would be addressed through dedicated committees.”

The Russians are “serious” about playing role of mediator and “guarantor” in the political process, she added.

“They have pledged to exert pressure on the regime to accept a comprehensive settlement,” she also said.

She revealed that after concluding talks at Hmeimim, “we traveled to Damascus the next day to meet Ali Mamlouk [head of the national security bureau].” The Russian envoy was present at the talks.

“I am awaiting for words to turn into actions. This will be proven by practical steps and the launch of comprehensive dialogue that addresses the fate of the Syrian people and a region that is part of the Syrian state,” she went on to say.

She stressed the need for a “responsible approach” that steers clear from hostility and hopes for a military solution.

Ahmed rejected “the threatening rhetoric” of some senior government officials, saying thorny issues demand dialogue.

Furthermore, she pointed to meetings with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Syrian opposition figures in Cairo.

“We are working on holding the Cairo 3 conference in March,” she said.