Top-level officials with the Syrian Democratic Council recently met with the governments of France and Belgium. In meetings in Paris and with Belgian officials in North and East Syria, European governments confirmed their commitment to counterterrorism efforts in North and East Syria and a non-military solution to the Syrian crisis.

President Emmanuel Macron of France met with Executive President Ilham Ahmed and other officials from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria in Paris in mid-July at Macron’s invitation. Ahmed is the head of the Executive Council of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political arm of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). 

Macron, Ahmed, and other officials discussed peace talks on Syria and the need for the democratic project in North and East Syria to be supported.

A Belgian delegation headed by Ambassador Eric de Moink visited the Foreign Relations Department recently in Qamishlo, North and East Syria. They also visited areas within North and East Syria.

During the meeting with the Belgian delegation, officials discussed Turkey’s cutting off water to North and East Syria, the need to re-open the al-Yaroubiah UN border crossing, humanitarian efforts, continued counterterrorism efforts to defeat ISIS, security in the al-Hol camp and other facilities holding ISIS fighters and their families, and the urgent need for COVID vaccines, tests, medical staff and supplies in North and East Syria. The Belgian officials emphasized their support for a non-military solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which, they said, should be “inclusive” of all parties.

At the conclusion of the visit, Belgian and NES officials signed a document to certify the delivery and repatriation of women and children Belgian nationals who were affiliated with ISIS. The Belgian nationals had been held in detention by the Syrian Democratic Forces. The detainees were transferred into Belgian custody at the end of the visit.