Friday, January 27, 2017

Russia: Moscow never proposed Kurdish autonomy in Syrian constitution draft

Russia did not offer to enshrine Kurdish autonomy in the new draft Syrian сonstitution, which was presented at the Astana talks, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told a press briefing on Friday.

"We have identified an array of issues to be addressed by the participants in the discussion on the Syrian сonstitution one way or another," she explained. "Tackling the issues related to the format, the way the Syrian state will be organized, the way it will exist and develop is not Russia’s objective. This task belongs to the Syrians themselves, various representatives, opposition groups, the official authorities and so on."

"No one is going to offer this, not in any persistent manner whatsoever, since that is just pointless," Zakharova said. "We are well aware that forming, developing, and drafting a new сonstitution is a purely voluntary process, because this is a document that requires a broad consensus of Syrian society, which, of course, is divided now. We fully realize this."

According to Zakharova, it is important to make sure that Syria’s new сonstitution "does not become an even greater bone of contention." "We are not offering any forms of organization for the Syrian state. We raise issues that require discussion with the Syrians," she added. "The time has come to put the draft сonstitution into the hands of the opposing sides instead of assault rifles."

Concerning the participation of the Syrian Kurds in the negotiation process, Zakharova noted that Russia’s stance on the issue is well known. "We proceed from the assumption that that they must join the process.".

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