Meetings have been taking place over the past few weeks between Arab tribal leaders of North and East Syria and AANES officials. These meetings seek to address the shared challenges between the parties and address longstanding issues related to the governance of the region. In the fifth and most recent of these meetings, a symposium in Raqqa, Arab tribal leaders and AANES representatives sought to negotiate a path forward for Syria by improving upon the AANES model, including new groups into the model, and addressing the existing challenges of the model.

The latest symposium was organized into two main segments. First, participants sought to articulate the commonalities among all Syrians, and draft a plan to unite efforts and work together in a framework that respects all the cultures, religions, and ethnicities of Syria. Second, participants discussed the historical relationships between ethnic groups and other bodies in North and East Syria, and began to outline in detail a mechanism for incorporating groups not previously engaged in the AANES. 

“Our meetings with tribal leaders are critical to bringing unity to the Syrian people,” said Sinam Sherkany Mohamad, Co-Chief of the US Mission of the Syrian Democratic Council. “Bringing all Syrian peoples together, resolving our differences, and defining our common goals are necessary next steps toward achieving the peaceful, secure, and democratic Syria that all Syrian people deserve.”

These meetings will continue into the future, as more groups in North and East Syria work to build a democratic solution for all of Syria.