Damascus says Syrian Kurdish autonomy negotiable after IS defeat

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-26 17:09:08|Editor: Xiang Bo
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DAMASCUS, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government is open to negotiations with Kurds over their demand for autonomy within Syria's borders, state news agency SANA cited foreign minister as saying on Tuesday.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said it will strike a conciliatory tone as military tensions worsen between the sides in eastern Syria, SANA reported.

Walid al-Moualem said the government could discuss the Kurdish demand once Islamic State is defeated, the report said.

"This topic is open to negotiation and discussion and when we are done eliminating Daesh (Islamic State), we can sit with our Kurdish sons and reach an understanding on a formula for the future," Moualem said.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia controls a swathe of northern Syria where the main Kurdish party, the PYD, and its allies have established autonomy since the start of the Syrian war in 2011.

Syrian Kurds say their aim is to preserve that autonomy as part of a decentralized Syria, and they do not aim to follow the path of Kurds in Iraq who held an independence referendum on Monday.

Moualem reiterated Syrian government's rejection of that referendum, saying Damascus supported Iraqi unity, but he noted that Syria's Kurds "want a form of autonomy within the borders of the Syrian Arab Republic."