From December 10 to 12 2016, representatives of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) participated in a training regarding the conduct of negotiations. The training was supervised by Dr. Sören Keil, who is a renowned scholar of political science from Canterbury (UK) and an expert in conflict resolution processes.
As an introduction, the participants learned about different negotiation styles and methods, including the internationally recognised Harvard method. Additionally, they discussed the specific interests of the Kurdish and the Arab opposition of Syria as well as those of the international community. In practical units, concrete political issues, as for example future rights of self-administration for the predominantely Kurdish inhabited regions, were negotiated in role plays.
The weekend was organised by the KNC’s Geneva Office in cooperation with the European Centre for Kurdish Studies (ECKS) and with friendly assistance of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) of the German Federal Foreign Office.
The training was the kick-off event for further workshops with the negotiation team of the KNC. Next year also invitations to members of the Syrian-Arab opposition to participate in joint discussion workshops will be sent out.
The KNC is confident that the respectful intra-Syrian exchange can lead to mutual understanding and trust, thus, to a peaceful and democratic future for Syria. In this process the KNC speaks up for the rights and interests of the Syrian Kurds. At the same time, the KNC encourages all other Syrians to also contribute to the discussions about the future of the country, notwithstanding the devastating political situation in numerous parts of Syria. The Syrian regime must understand that airstrikes and mass murder against one’s own population can never outplay the ideas of freedom and democracy.