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Cairo: Syria conference takes place without National Coalition

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2015—On June 8 and 9  2015, a conference of the Syrian opposition took place in Cairo at the invitation of the Egyptian government. Among the Kurdish participants were representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PYD-appointed transitional administrations for the cantons of Jazirah and Kobanî, the PYD‑affiliated women’s party Yekîtiya Star, the PYD’s People’s Defense Units, other PYD‑affiliated parties, as well as representatives of the parties joined in the Kurdish National Council. ʿAbdulhamid Hajji Darwish, the chairman of the Kurdish Advancement Party in Syria, was among the latter group. Representatives of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) did not attend the conference on the grounds that they had only received a personal invitation. The largest opposition alliance, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, was also not represented as an organization. By contrast, the ten parties of the National Union of the Forces for Democratic Change, which has close ties to the regime, were represented. The PYD is also a part of this alliance. The conference’s closing statement, which formulates general principles for resolving the conflict in Syria, makes no mention of plans for the future administration of the predominantly Kurdish areas. An additional declaration, the so called national charter, states that the Syrian nation is comprised of Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, and other ethnic groups and that they have legitimate ethnic rights in accordance with international agreements.

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