Russian delegation in Syria to foster dialogue between Damascus and Kurds

Russia sent a delegation to Syria to persuade Kurdish-led administrations that control parts of the north and east of the country to reconcile with the Damascus government, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.

The delegation brought a 10-point roadmap that would have the Kurds take their place in the constitutional committee, which is currently negotiating to end the nine-year conflict, and represent the Kurdish political movement in the Syrian government, Asharq al-Awsat quoted unnamed sources as saying.

The delegation suggested the Kurdish-led autonomous administrations and Syrian government should begin dialogue.

Asharq al-Awsat’s sources said the delegation had travelled to Damascus before approaching the Kurdish side in Qamishli on Dec. 26 and will return to the capital city with suggestions after talks there are complete.

One of the points on the roadmap suggested reopening road links between the northern Syrian governorate of Aleppo and the Iraqi border.

Kurdish-led political and armed groups carved out a large area of control in the north and east of the country throughout the conflict, but Turkey dealt the self-governing administrations a crippling blow when it launched a military operation in October, driving Kurdish forces away from the large cities on the northern Syrian border.

The Kurds began negotiations with President Bashar Assad’s government during the operation to halt the Turkish advance, but talks stalled after the United States reversed its decision to fully withdraw troops from Syria and left forces to help protect areas under Kurdish control.