Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Bafel Talabani visits North and East Syria, meets with political and military leaders

HASAKAH, Syria — On Tuesday, Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Bafel Talabani met with members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Hasakah, North and East Syria.

The meeting was attended by Talabani, Co-Chairs of the PYD Saleh Muslim and Asia Abdullah, and Member of the Presidential Council of the PYD Foza al-Youssef.

This is Bafel Talabani’s first visit to North and East Syria since assuming leadership of the PUK.

On Facebook, Talabani said that they discussed the political situation in the region and stressed their support of a “peaceful solution and dialogue” regarding all “outstanding issues” between the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Earlier in the day, Talabani met with General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi and Commander-in-Chief of the US-led International Coalition Forces Matthew McFarlane. Also joining the meeting were members of the SDF leadership Newroz Ahmed and Mahmoud Barkhdan, and Co-Chair of the DAA Foreign Relation Commission Badran Jia Kurd.

The visit comes after the SDF and the International Coalition resumed security cooperation that had been suspended due to the escalation of Turkish attacks.

During the meeting, the participants discussed the danger of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the activity of its sleeper cells. Abdi and Talabani discussed the importance of the relations between the SDF and DAA with their counterparts in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

Talabani leads the anti-terrorism apparatus of the PUK and is the son of the late Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. His visit is the first visit of an Iraqi Kurdish official after assuming the leadership of a political party.