Northern Syria delegation visits Egypt, discusses Afrin situation

by Wladimir van Wilgenburg    


A high-level delegation from northern Syria visited the republic of Egypt on Thursday and met with key figures in the Egyptian foreign ministry. Egypt was one of the few Arab countries that condemned the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Kurdish region of Afrin in Syria. 
The delegation was headed by Aldar Xelil, the co-head of the Movement of a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), deputy head of the Jazeera region, Hussein Azzam, as well as the head of the Assyrian Cultural Association of the Autonomous Administration Elizabeth Gawrie. 
The two sides discussed the recent developments in Syria, and discussed the role of Egypt in the region. Moreover, there was a focus on the Turkish occupation of Afrin province. 
The two sides also discussed the importance of holding the third Cairo conference of the Syrian opposition. It was underlined that the outcomes of the conference are in line with the outcomes of the peace talks in Geneva, and should include all parties with an active role in Syria.  
On March 19th, Egypt condemned the Turkish invasion of Afrin after Turkish-backed rebel and the Turkish army took control of Afrin on March 17th. 
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Turkish military operation has violated civilians’ rights and forced them to flee the city.
Continuous violations of Syria’s sovereignty is “unacceptable”, the statement read, adding that such violations complicate the political situation, foil current conflict settlement efforts, and worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country.
The statement also reaffirmed Egypt’s support of a political solution in Syria, which would preserve the unity of the Syrian state and institutions.

 Egypt has had good relations with the Syrian Kurds due to its bad relationship with Turkey.  
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terrorist organization in Egypt, and an outspoken opponent of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 
However, Egypt is not the only Arab country with good relations with the Kurds in Syria. Also, the Arab League condemned Turkey’s invasion of Afrin in April, sparking outrage in Turkey.