Syrian Democratic Council symposiums continue across North and East Syria, some attendees question their usefulness

ZALIN, Syria — In an exclusive interview with SuroyoTV, Co-Chair of the Local Administration and Environment Authority of the Executive Council of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria Joseph Lahdo (Syriac Union Party, SUP) commented on the series of symposium’s being organized by the DAA.

The goal of the symposium series, organized by the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) under the title Towards a National Conference for the People of the Jazira and Euphrates, is to discuss the structure and effectiveness of administrative structures and the Syrian–Syrian dialogue with the public.

Lahdo explained that the symposiums focused first on the Syrian–Syrian dialogue — dialogue between the DAA and the opposition and Syrian regime — and the Kurdish–Kurdish dialogue. The necessity of bridging the political divisions of the Syrian people was highlighted.

The symposiums also focused on the historical relations between the peoples of the region and their role in building the DAA.

Lahdo indicated the importance of these symposiums lies in the fact that they include parties and figures from outside the DAA system which has contributed to enriching the dialogue between the various political forces and the DAA, as well as improving its quality.

As the symposiums have progressed, however, some participants have questioned the usefulness of the dialogues and the efficiency of the DAA.

In a press statement released by the SDC earlier in the week highlighted some of the critics made by the audience during a recent symposium in Raqqa.

Several participants, including intellectuals and tribal chiefs, raised doubts about “the usefulness and seriousness of SDC and the [Administration] in the transformation that they are about to take at political and administrative levels.”

In response, Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the SDC Ilham Ahmed stated that the SDC and DAA are still in the process of developing and they are making a concerted effort to increase community participation.

The lack of expertise among DAA officials was also a point of concern among attendants. Laila Mustafa, Co-Chair of the Civil Administration in Raqqa, stated that the DAA is not operating in an ideal situation and it is working to avoid mistakes and ensure that the Administration is made up of qualified people.

Mustafa also called on the public to advance ideas about mechanisms to ensure that acceptable and qualified candidates are put forward for positions in the DAA.

Complaints about the misuse of public office and funds were also aired at the symposium. The complaints were recorded by the organizers of the symposium and will be submitted to the monitoring body, which was recently created to investigate such claims.