Administration of North and East Syria denounces statement of Swedish Foreign Minister

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — The Foreign Relations Commission of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria issued a statement regarding recent comments made by incoming Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström about the new Swedish government “distancing itself” from the DAA and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

On Saturday, Billstrom stated that Stockholm would reevaluate its relationship to Kurdish groups in North and East Syria to improve relations with Turkey as it seeks to join NATO.

The statement of the DAA Foreign Relations Commission said that, with regret, it received the statement of the new Swedish Foreign Minister to distance itself from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is and integral part of the SDF, partner of the US-led International Coalition in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

It was unfortunate to hear such a statement from the Swedish Minister to satisfy Turkey in Sweden’s bid to join NATO, read the statement. We understand NATO membership is in the interest of Sweden, but it should not be at the expense of the peoples who are frightening against global terrorism that threaten the entire world, it continued.  

The DAA said the Swedish statement is a tacit approval of Turkey’s support for extremists in Syria and its policy of forced demographic change.

The DAA called on the Swedish government to remain committed to its values and democratic traditions and hoped that it will maintain its honorable position in the international community as a country that strongly supports oppressed peoples. It also hopes that the Swedish government takes into consideration the strong and historic relationship between the Swedish people and the people of the region, many of whom have settled in Sweden.