2018-11-16 15:00:00

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President, Masoud Barzani, on Thursday called on the dominant party in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) to release all Kurdish political prisoners and activists.

In an online statement on his website, Barzani remarked positively at the release of a prominent member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (PDK-S), Abdulrahman Apo, noting it was the right move.

“Realistically, the place of a fighter and activist like Apo is meant to be in the prisons of enemies, not in a prison of a Kurdish party,” the statement reads.

“I hope this step will be the beginning of the release of all prisoners kept by the Democratic Unionist Party (PYD),” Barzani said, hoping it would lead to updates on “all Kurdish activists and cases of enforced disappearance.”

Barzani also shared hopes that Rojava would witness a political breakthrough, where no citizen or political party would face harm or imprisonment over their political views.

Tensions between the PDK-S and PYD have increased since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, and the latter established a self-administration and a military force known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the leading element of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Barzani previously mediated between the PYD-led ruling council of Rojava and its opposition, the Kurdish National Council (known as the KNC or ENKS). Three agreements were signed.

The first agreement, the Hawler I Agreement, was signed in Erbil on June 11, 2012. The second accord, the Hawler II Agreement, was reached in Erbil on Dec. 24, 2013, and the third one, known as the Duhok Agreement, was signed in Duhok on Oct. 22, 2014.

However, none of the stipulations in the accords have materialized because of political disagreements between the two blocks.