- Title: Election plans in Kurdish-led areas a 'joke', says Syrian minister
- Date: 6th August 2017
- Summary: DAMASCUS, SYRIA (AUGUST 6, 2017) (REUTERS) SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, FAISAL MEKDAD, SEATED AT DESK IMAGE OF SYRIAN FLAG ON SCREEN (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, FAISAL MEKDAD, SAYING: "Frankly speaking this will be a joke. Syria will never ever - I'm using it too much today - allow any part of its territory to be separated and everybody knows." MEKDAD'S FACE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, FAISAL MEKDAD, SAYING: "No it is not a matter of willing. It is a matter of must and the territorial integrity of Syria will never be under dispute. We advise those who are working in this direction encouraged by well-known circles to stop." MEKDAD / SCREEN SHOWING PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHEMICAL ATTACK
- Embargoed: 20th August 2017 13:52
- Keywords: Northern Syria Kurdish elections Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad interview elections a joke
- Location: DAMASCUS, SYRIA
- City: DAMASCUS, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016T0PMX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A senior Syrian government minister on Sunday (August 6) dismissed as a "joke" plans by the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria to hold elections and said they would not be allowed to threaten the country's territorial unity.
Deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad also said the Syrian government must eventually assert control over Kurdish-led areas, which until now Damascus has tolerated in an uneasy relationship.
Kurdish groups and their allies control swathes of the north in areas held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG.
At the end of July the Kurdish-led administration there set dates between late summer and January for local council and regional assembly elections in a move apparently aimed at consolidating its growing autonomy.
Mekdad also reiterated Syria's position that its government did not carry out a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun town in April.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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