Ilham Ahmed: Russia is stalling and siding with regime

Ilham Ahmed, the head of the Executive Body of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) criticized Russia's procrastination in mediation between the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the Syrian regime, and called on Russia to take a neutral stance on both sides and not to align itself with the regime.

In the second part of the interview held by Hawar news agency with the head of the Executive Board of the Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed on what Syria is witnessing and how to get Syria to safety, Ilham Ahmed talked about Russian efforts to hold talks between the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the Syrian regime, the demands suggested by both parties, and the degree of their progress at the political level.

 ‘We did not receive any item from the Russian government’

Ilham Ahmed indicated at the beginning of her talk on this issue that Russia uses from time to time the file of North and East Syria to put pressure on Turkey in order to obtain concessions from it in other files, and said: “In the last period, a document containing some items as provided by Moscow government to the Autonomous Administration to be able to agree with the Syrian government was leaked to the media outlets. That document does not exist and is far from the truth. We have not received from the Russian government any provisions for agreement under it with the Syrian government.”

Ilham Ahmed added: “But it is known that Moscow government often leaks some matters to the media outlets to give a picture indirectly to Turkey about a possible agreement with the regime with the aim of obtaining concessions from Turkey in various files such as Idlib file or other regional files.”

 ‘There is a breakdown in dialogue due to regional interventions’

She pointed to the continued efforts of the Syrian Democratic Council to reach basic items through which agreement can be held with the Syrian government, saying: “Efforts are continuing, and we seek to do more, but there is a break in the dialogue, due to the regional interventions that lead to stopping the dialogue every now and then, in addition to the logic and style of the Syrian government treatment; using force and the military solution to solve the issues in Syria, and stalling in the political solution whether in the Geneva process or in dialogue with the Autonomous Administration.

‘Mediation role must be neutral in taking the position’

Ilham indicated that the Russian position towards holding talks between the two sides is somewhat of a procrastination, and she said: “Although a series of meetings were held in the areas of the north and east of Syria, there are no tangible results so far due to the lack of development of this dialogue.”

Ilham Ahmed explained that showing the seriousness of mediation and playing the role of mediation must witness neutrality in taking the position and impartiality to some party, but it is known that the Russian government is the greatest supporter of the Syrian regime in all international and internal forums, and the Russian government's bias to the party of the regime is clear, which leads to the lack of openness to a political solution although Russia is fully convinced of the principle of decentralization as a political solution to the Syrian crisis, but it avoids this supposition so far and supports the military option to solve the crisis.

Ilham Ahmed called on the Russian government to change this path, and to view the Syrian issue as a political, cultural, civil, social, and economic issue that requires change from all these aspects and the work on its basis, not to impose a military solution and drag all sides to the control of the Syrian regime. She said: “The Syrians are open to all initiatives and ways that the Russian government may take, which will have a serious impact on the parties’ rapprochement to resolve the Syrian crisis.”

 ‘Agreement is military so far’

Regarding Russia’s demands in the series of meetings that brought the two parties together, Ilham Ahmed said: “The agreement to date is only a military agreement, but at the civil and political domain, until now Russia focuses focus on what the Syrian government demands, and once it focuses on the demands of the Syrian government, this means that Russia does not want to put pressure on the Syrian government and push it towards serious negotiations or to enter it into a serious negotiation process with the rest of the parties. We hope the Russian side to play a serious role in this framework in the coming stages and pressure on the Syrian government in this direction. The Autonomous Administration has an openness in this field for affinity and to get access to essential items, including constitutional  and others administrative.”

‘Law No. 107 does not bring the right solution to the existing crisis’

Ilham Ahmed touched on talking about the demands of the regime from the Autonomous  Administration through Russian mediation, and she explained: “The regime's demand is the return of all Syrian lands to its authority, and to talk about local administrations that are not clear concerning frameworks and powers according to Law No. 107.” She also stressed that "this law does not bring the right solution to the existing crisis, nor does it rise to the aspirations and demands of the Syrian people due to the presence of millions of displaced people abroad, hundreds of thousands victims of this crisis, hundreds of thousands of displaced people inside Syria, and thousands of missing and detained persons.”

 ‘De-centralization is main demand’

Ilham Ahmed referred to the demands of the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria through her meetings with Russia and the Syrian regime, and she said: “The demands of the Autonomous Administration are always to present the model of the Autonomous Administration as a kind of de-centralization in Syria to resolve the Syrian crisis, some aspects of which may not be agreed, and this is up for discussion, but de-centralization is the basic requirement, and it is necessary to agree on a kind of de-centralization in Syria.”

And Ilham Ahmed warned of the repercussions, the impact of the political procrastination, the intransigence of the Syrian regime and the ambiguity in the Russian position on the Syrian people by saying: “The political procrastination in order to reach a solution has major repercussions on the future of Syria as a whole. The regime believes that with full military control over the Syrian lands, it would be able to resolve the crisis, but the reality in the areas under its control is witnessing a very deep economic crisis, and consequently the crisis will continue amid continued US sanctions imposed on Syria in general, not on the regime alone.”

 ‘It is necessary to carry out serious steps within the political solution’

Referring to the deteriorating economic reality which reflects negatively on the lives of citizens, and about the position of the Syrian Democratic Council regarding the positions of the Syrian regime and the Russian position, Ilham Ahmed confirmed her rejection of the American and international sanctions imposed on the Syrian people, and their refusal to procrastination in order to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and that it is necessary to take serious steps within the framework of the political solution and start lifting the blockade imposed on Syria.”

On the talks between them and the regime, the head of the Executive Body of the Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed stressed on the regime, demanding to begin the processes of change and openness to the political solution first, and not the other parties because it is the primary responsible for starting this, and she explained: “This openness and from all sides will be the basis for closing the way before the foreign interference in the country and moving Syria from a fragmented situation to a new, coherent, strong and democratic Syria, so opening up to the political solution within the framework of principles agreed upon by all Syrians will be the primary solution.”


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