Kurds (459)


Although there is no much doubt, at the highest levels of Syria’s political echelons, that political reform is a necessity, the means and the nature of the changes are yet to be defined.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa on May 26, 2003.


A new political game is starting in the Middle East following the United States invasion of Iraq and its now probable military victory. How long the US will stay there? How does it plan to rule the country? And with whom? Some of these questions will find a quick answer, some not.


As all the countries in the Middle East, Syria is anxiously waiting the coming few weeks and the expected attack on Iraq. But more than any other country, Syria is afraid of the consequences it will have to face, following the set-up of a new American-reshaped region.

The visit to Damascus of Turkish State Minister Kursat Tuzmen, at the head of a 200 strong business delegation, provided him with the opportunity to offer Syria several trade boosting propositions.

With a US-led war on Iraq increasingly likely, the question of the future of the northern, Kurdish-inhabited, part of that country, has taken a strategic importance.


Syrian Kurds held a very rare demonstration in front of the Syrian parliament to call for a recognition of their cultural and "national" rights.


Negotiations between Syrian and Kurdish leaders have intensified in the last few weeks and after a visit to Damascus, mid-October, of a delegation from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which officially aimed at strengthening economic ties between Syria and the Kurdish-controlled northern Irak, it is the head of the PUK, Jalal Talabani, who headed to the Syrian capital on November 1 to meet with Abdel-Halim Khaddam, VP.


In his speech, last December, before the newly-sworn in cabinet, Bashar al Assad felt necessary to mention, among the general policy guidelines he laid down for his government, one specific sector he thought his newly nominated team had to address urgently, the water crisis his country is facing.