Delegation from South Africa visits North and East Syria for the first time

ZALIN (QAMISHLI), Syria – A first South African delegation was received by co-chair Abdulkarim Omar of the Department of Foreign Relations for the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA), and the Department’s two vice chairs Fanar Keit and Abeer Elia (Syriac Union Party) at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Relations in Zalin.

The South African delegation arrived on Thursday and was headed by Barry Gilder, ambassador-general for Syria and Lebanon, and Ms. Natasha Stogozuka, director of the UNICEF office in North and East Syria. The two sides talked about many political and economic issues and about the situation in Syria in general and in North and Syria in particular.

Views were exchanged on the security situation in the region after the elimination of Islamic State (ISIS), on the participation of the DAA in the political process in Syria, ways for a political solution, and the importance of intensifying the efforts of the international community in all political, economic, security, and humanitarian aspects to bring peace and stability to the region.

In this regard, Abdulkarim Omar explained that the people of the region at the beginning of the crisis suffered from violent attacks and had to remedy the security vacuum and fight terrorism. There are still dozens of sleeper ISIS cells present in the area. The DAA was able to secure peace and stability for all the ethnic components that live in the region. It did so with relatively simple means and under great pressures.