UK Foreign Secretary says federalism best solution for Syria

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UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says federalism is the best solution for Syria. File photo

ARA News

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday said that federalism and holding democratic elections might be the only solution to the crisis in Syria.

“It may be that when it comes to a solution, it comes to implementation of an Dayton style accord in Syria and introduction of some form of a federal solution in Syria, which may indeed be the right way forward or the only way forward in the end of all this,” the UK Foreign Secretary said during a committee hearing on the UK foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Johnson added that he could imagine that the British army would be involved in this as peace-keepers. “If you look in the world, we are a huge player in that area [peace keeping] and I can imagine we would be involved in that,” he stated.

However, so far both the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government has rejected any form of federalism for Syria, although the majority of the Kurdish parties say it’s the best solution for Syria and the Russian government proposed a draft constitution that includes room for autonomy for Kurds.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its allies in March 2016 announced the preparation for the establishment of a multi-ethnic Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria. This while the rival Kurdish National Council (KNC) has called for establishing a Kurdistan region of Syria, similar to the system in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We want federalism for all of Syria like in Europe, the Syrian people will decide about it in the future,” Dr. Hussein Azam, an Arab politician and deputy president of the Rojava’s local canton administration in Cezire (Hasakah province) told ARA News.

“Because of the situation and circumstances in Syria it’s difficult to continue the central system. The best solution is a federal system,” Azam said.

“It would not be ‘national federalism’, but a social federalism consisting Arabs, Kurds, and Christians,” Azam told ARA News.

Zara Salih, a member of the Kurdish KNC-affiliated Yekiti Party in Syria, agreed with Azam, considering federalism as an end to dictatorship in Syria.

“We believe that federalism would be the best solution for all ethnic groups and religious communities in Syria, and more suitable way to stop renewing the dictatorship under other titles,” Salih told ARA News.

“Syrian ethnic, religious and cultural components cannot live under a central state anymore, otherwise the division will be the final option,” he said. “However, we as Kurds demand our right to self-determination, which could be a form of independence in the future,” he concluded.

The UK Foreign Secretary stressed it would not be a good idea to work with Russia and the Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad. Johnson accused Assad of being a recruiting sergeant for radicalism. “It was his decision to let Daesh [ISIS] out of the jail,” he said.

“And if we forge an alliance now with Assad and the Russians it would have very grave consequences and drive radicalism,” Johnson said. “It would be seen as switching sides and supporting the side of Assad and the Russians, and would be seen as a great betrayal to the people of Syria that opposed Assad.”

According to Johnson, the only solution for Syria is to hold democratic elections under an international supervision for both Syrians inside Syria, but also for the four millions that fled from Syria.

“We believe in democracy and support democracy, and if there is a political solution we cannot avoid such a democratic event,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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