KDP denies invitation to pan-Kurdish conference in Moscow


KDP supporters in Brussel waving the Kurdish national flag. File photo

ARA News

A senior official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) on Thursday denied that the KDP was invited to a Kurdish conference scheduled on 15 February in Moscow alongside the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

A representative of the Syrian Kurdish PYD in Moscow said that the KDP, PYD, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) from Turkey and other parties from Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan were invited.

“We received no invitation,” Hemin Hawrami, the KDP’s head of foreign relations told ARA News. “If the PYD gets along with the KNC [Kurdish National Council in Syria], we don’t have any other problems with the PYD. We just want them to return to the Duhok agreement, that is all what we want,” he said.

According to the pro-Russian government Sputnik news agency, Kurdish politicians are expected to meet with their Russian counterparts and hold a press conference afterwards.

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) backed by the KDP, and the PYD backed by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) reached an agreement in October 2014 in Duhok to share power in northern Syria after Kurdish parties were more united due to a common threat of ISIS against both Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan.

However, the agreement fell apart due to disputes over power-sharing and the military after the threat of ISIS waned due to US-led coalition support to the Kurds in Iraq and Syria.

The KDP and KNC officials have called on the PYD to implement the Duhok agreement and work with the KNC, while PYD officials have asked the KNC to join the local canton administrations that the PYD and its allies set up in 2014, and accept the laws of the local administrations.

Masrour Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council (KRSC) in meetings with Western diplomats, has lobbied for the return to the Duhok agreement and the return of Kurdish Rojava Peshmerga fighters that were trained in Iraqi Kurdistan and were part of Peshmerga operations against ISIS in towns such as Sinjar, Bashiqa, Gwer and others.

However, the PYD-linked People’s Protection Units (YPG) have said that the return of those fighters could lead to a civil war between the Kurdish factions, and have made clear that any Kurdish military faction in northern Syria should fall under full YPG control.

Pan-Kurdish Conference

A pan-Kurdish national conference will be held in Moscow on 15 February, with the participation of several Kurdish parties.

Abdulsalam Ali, a member of the Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), said that they would discuss the current situation in the Middle East and the divisions of zones of influence in the region.

Among the participants in the meetings are PYD-co head Asya Abdulla, the president of the Kobani local administration Anwar Muslim, and the former mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir.

However, it’s unclear which parties from Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan will be invited.

In late January, members of the Democratic Union Party were invited to Moscow by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the future of Syria and results of the ceasefire talks in Astana.

Although Russia says the PYD should be included in the peace talks in Geneva, the Syrian opposition and Turkey made it clear that they do not want the PYD to be included in any peace talks.

Nevertheless, Russian officials held several meetings with PYD official both in Syria and in Moscow.

There were attempts in the past to hold a national Kurdish conference in Iraqi Kurdistan. However, due to differences between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the conference was delayed indefinitely.

In the last few months, the PKK has called for holding a Kurdish conference. But it’s unlikely that the main Kurdish parties, the PKK and KDP, can reach an agreement over holding such a conference due to ongoing tensions over power-sharing and territory in Sinjar in northern Iraq, and the Kurdish areas of Syria –known as Rojava.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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