The delegation of the Kurdish National Council has continued its talks with representatives in the USA on the 2nd and 3rd of March.
On March 2nd, the delegation first met with David Kinzler who serves as Middle East Staffer for Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Their discussion revolved around the current situation in Syrian-Kurdistan, the return of the Roj Peshmerga and the on-going peace negotiations in Geneva. Kinzler affirmed the KNC’s demands regarding the Roj Peshmerga’s return to be coherent and timely, as important decisions will have to be made in the near future.
Later the delegation met Michael Ratney, the U.S.’s Special Envoy for Syria. Ratney summarized the immense obstacles that still stand in the way of a political solution for Syria. In his opinion the main goal of the peace negotiations in Geneva has to be the creation of a political setting, that allows all of the involved parties to achieve a ceasefire with the objective of paving the way for a long term solution for Syria. Due to the regime’s intransigence and the heterogeneity and discord within the opposition, his expectations on the current negotiations are, however, low.
With regard to federalism Ratney expressed that it might be one of the best solutions for Syria; the decision on that, however, lies with the Syrian people. Provided that there will be a political arrangement, he sees the return of the Roj Peshmerga as an important factor of balance and a guarantee for the region’s stability.
Furthermore, the delegation participated in a discussion with a range of associates of the US Foreign Ministry as well as in a round table discussion initiated by the U.S. Institute for Peace on March 2nd.
On March 3rd, a meeting with experts and analysts of the Atlantic Council took place. On the same day, the delegation spoke with Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, at the Foreign Ministry. McGurk emphasized the importance and apt timing of the delegation’s visit to the USA as well as the particular priority of the battle against ISIS. He expressed his concerns about the conflicts between the Kurdish parties and pledged to do everything in his power to obtain rapprochement and the return of the Roj Peshmerga. He identified the latter as a key player in the fight against terrorism.
On the evening of March 3rd, the delegation was hosted at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where they met and discussed with a range of experts and specialists for Kurdish and Syrian matters.
Further meetings are scheduled for the following days.
The Delegation of the Kurdish National Council
Washington D.C., March 3rd 2017