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    February 5, 2016

    Representative Office of Syrian Kurdistan to Open in Moscow

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    5th February, 2016

    As was predicted by “Kommersant”, soon a representative office of Syrian Kurdistan, the Kurdish autonomy in Northern Syria, will soon open in Moscow. The opening ceremony will be held on 10th February, with invites being sent to Foreign Ministry representatives and leaders of Russian political parties. Later the authorities of the autonomy plan to open similar institutions in Germany and France. Legally the representative office will act as a public organization. In fact, as was explained by a “Kommersant” source familiar with the situation from the Kurdish side, it will perform the functions of the diplomatic mission.

    The representatives of Syrian Kurdistan, hardened in battles with the "Islamic State" (IS; banned in Russia), intend to open a representative office in Russia, "Kommersant" reported on 20th October. Information about this was confirmed in late October at a conference in Moscow of a delegation of management autonomy.

    Sources of Kommersant with the Kurdish parties then assured that "the Russian side will not create any obstacles" associated with the opening of the office, and will give "time to resolve technical issues." This message caused harsh reaction from Turkish diplomatic sources to “Kommersant”. In Ankara, any contact between Russia and the Kurds is perceived as a powerful impact on their own interests, especially against the background of growing Russian-Turkish conflict.

    Representation of autonomy in Moscow will be operational on 10th February. Representatives of the Russian foreign Ministry and leaders of Russian political parties were invited to the opening ceremony. Russia will become the second country who has opened an institution with such status on their territory, followed by Iraq. The opening of representative offices of the Kurdish Autonomous region are scheduled in Germany and France in the future.

    The opening mission was repeatedly raised by representatives of the party "Democratic Union" (DS), a key political force of Syrian Kurdistan, during the talks, to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Eventually a formal agreement with the Russian side was made: legally the mission received the status of a public organization registered at the Ministry of Justice. In fact, assured Kommersant's interlocutor with the Kurdish parties, the representative office will perform the functions of diplomatic institutions: "The Russian legislation does not provide for, but at the same time and does not prohibit the opening in its territory of representations of regions".

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