TEV-DEM’s Xelil: A new Geneva processs should start - PART II

TEV-DEM Executive Council Member Aldar Xelil said the Geneva process has reached a deadlock and the Astana process ended in practice after the Idlib operation. Xelil said a new Geneva process should start, this time including the Kurds.

Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Executive Council Member Aldar Xelil spoke to the ANF about the invasion of Afrin, threat of ISIS, attempts for a solution, ideas for a buffer zone and the Northern and Eastern Syrian Federation project.

The second part of the interview, the first part of which can be found here, is as follows:


The Geneva and Astana processes didn’t evolve into a political solution. Where did they get stuck, and what kind of a solution would be possible after this?

Geneva talks were already stuck. At first, the opposition had influence in and outside of Syria. But it isn’t so right now. They have lost all power. They have no more influence in Syria. That is why the regime doesn’t take them seriously and doesn’t sit down with them. Even the Turkish state supported them to a point. They would protect some cities they held. But even Turkey sold them out. In Gouta, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and most recently in Idlib, they are washing their hands clean of them. They have become weak. And Geneva was thus stuck. Astana was between Turkey, Iran and Russia. With the Idlib operation, that was also rendered ineffective. We can say that there is no Astana process anymore. Russia does organize more meetings, but they are formal, in truth the process is over.

We said from the start that having talks under the United Nations umbrealla would be good. We believe now the revival of Geneva with us included will be effective. With the weakening of other powers, we can express the situation when we face the regime.


Do you have contact with the regime for a solution?

Another solution is that we and the regime discuss a solution with mediation from third parties. There have been some efforts. But the Damascus regime didn’t accept them. They stopped the existing talks as well. They removed the necessary conditions for a dialogue. There are no talks right now. But we would like everyone to know that we are ready for dialogue and talks for a solution with actors who have influence who will propose a political and peaceful solution.


Are there any developments in the buffer zone idea along the border?

There were talks of a secure zone. That is still on the agenda for international powers, Turks, Americans and coalition forces. They are discussing the matter with the Northern and Eastern Syria administration as well. There have been a few meetings on the matter, but there is no clear outcome yet. There is no clear situation. It was proposed as an agenda point, but there wasn’t an alliance on how the project would be and how it would be realized. Still, efforts continue. The US wants to have European countries and coalition partners in on the matter. There are attempts to get Turkey to accept certain things. Turkey won’t be controlling it and there will be an international interlocution. We have our conditions we relayed to them. Some are connected to the Afrin issue, some regarding Turks being involved in the project, and some are about the forces that will be at the border. But there is no clear situation to form an alliance. It needs time.


With the threat of ISIS on one hand, and the Turkish state invasions on the other, in the insoluble spiral of the Syrian civil war, how is the model rendered as the Northern and Eastern Syrian Federation working in general terms?

The peoples of Rojava and Northern and Eastern Syria have led the revolution based on the democratic nation together. Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, Assyrians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Circassians who live in this region are all the owners of this revolution. They have taken their place in the revolution and they have worked together.

This is a democratic revolution and it takes its strength from the people. This is a social revolution where a social economy, a social defense force and social services are run by the people, the people govern themselves and assemblies include sections of society. In every sector of society the people are self organizing and executing their revolution. Both the economy and the defense are based on the people’s organization. The stronger this organization is, the stronger the efforts will be.

What does the current level of organization correspond to?

We are still at the revolution stage. We are at the construction and creation stage. Certain things are still starting. There have been some important steps taken, but the process continues. Our people were under threats for years. They were attacked. We have focused on defense to date due to ISIS and Turkish state attacks. I hope from now on efforts for education, municipal works, health efforts and others will get stronger too. These are all on the agenda. Institutions, associations, committees, commissions and assemblies have been formed for them. There are important efforts in place in this framework.