Assyrian Democratic Organization: We Will Continue Our Demands for our Syriac People in Geneva

ADO holds information session on constitutional talks to inform the Syriac people of all affiliations.

QAMISHLI, Syria – At an information session in her office in at the city of Qamishli, Syria, a city in the Gozarto region of Bethnahrin (Mesopotamia), the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) informed members, invitees, and interested civil society organizations and political parties on ADO’s involvement and achievements in the past two months of constitutional negotiations in Geneva.

Gabriel Mushe, ADO Foreign Affairs Representative and delegate to the new Syrian constitutional talks in Geneva, reflected on the very challenging talks. The Syrian government, the opposition (to which the ADO belongs), and civil society representatives formally sat down in one room for the first time since the outbreak of the Syrian war.

Mushe returned to his hometown of Qamishli after the talks stalled in their second week because of widely differing views on how to proceed. One important factor for impasse was that no consensus could be reached on how to proceed with the smaller executive committee of 45 delegates assigned to further negotiate and draft the new constitution. United Nations Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, told the press after the second round of negotiations, “We have been trying to reach consensus but as I said we are not there yet.”

After the first round of talks, Mushe confirmed in a mid-November interview with North Press Agency that Syriac delegates – i.e. ADO and World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) – did not gain access to the smaller constitutional committee. Mushe then commented on the (future) achievements of the Constitutional committee:

“The Commission has been much delayed because of stalling and disruption by the regime, who from the start did not want to join the Constitutional committee in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254, but only coerced and compelled by his allies, mainly the Russians. … We do not think the Constitutional committee will give much result, but we consider it a step, a start and a key to finding a political solution and the implementation of all the provisions of resolution 2254, in parallel with the work of the Constitutional committee.”

In an interview with the Suroyo TV at last Friday’s information session, Mushe said the information session served to inform the Syriac people of all personal and party affiliations because the new constitution for Syria is not a personal or party question but a question of the Syriac people. He appealed to the Syriac people to involve themselves more and support the ADO by giving their views on the new constitution.

Mushe reaffirmed their stance and demands in the constitutional talks:

“First, it is the question of our Syriac people and Syriac identity. It is the question of constitutional recognition of the Syriacs as a people. We, as a Syriac people, need to openly express our views on a future Syria.
Second, how do we want the future Syria to be for our children? We want the future Syria to be democratic, secular, and built on the pillars of equality and justice, and an inclusive Syria which constitutionally respects human rights and recognizes personal and peoples’ rights within its borders.
And we won’t stop. We will be working with all the political parties and civil organizations of our people. And we will continue our demands in Geneva and bring forward our stance for our Syriac people.”

Present at the information session was representative Abdulahad Ishak of the Syriac Union Party – the SUP is co-founder of the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (DAA). There is no Syriac delegation in Geneva aligned to the Democratic Autonomous Administration. No representation from the peoples of the DAA was allowed because Turkey, as one of the backers of the Astana talks, blocked any participation and representation by parties and organizations aligned with the DAA.