Kurdish activists attend the Conference of Syrian Kurdish Youths Abroad at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm
Kurdish activists attend the Conference of Syrian Kurdish Youths Abroad at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. Around 50 expatriated Syrian Kurds gathered here Saturday for a two-day conference on how to strengthen Kurds inside Syria and get them more involved in efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's regime. © Jonathan Nackstrand - AFP
Kurdish activists attend the Conference of Syrian Kurdish Youths Abroad at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm
AFP
Last updated: September 3, 2011

Syrian Kurds meet in Sweden to push Assad's ouster

Around 50 expatriated Syrian Kurds gathered here Saturday for a two-day conference on how to strengthen Kurds inside Syria and get them more involved in efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We want to push the Kurdish people inside Syria to support the revolution more... Kurdish people both inside and outside Syria need to work harder to change this regime," said Massoud Akko, a Kurdish writer living in Norway who helped organise the conference.

The first meeting of The Conference of Syrian Kurdish Youths Abroad gathered more than 50 people from across Europe, the United States and the former Soviet Union to a large room in the Swedish parliament, Akko told AFP.

Members of parliament, politicians, writers, intellectuals and rights activists figured among the attendants.

"We tried to invite people living in Syria too, but it was too difficult for them to come. They have a travel ban," he explained.

Organisers said in a statement ahead of the conference their aim was to help "provide a clear vision and practical projects to activate the Kurdish role inside Syria and abroad in toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad and realise the peaceful transition of power to the people."

Akko said the ultimate goal was to establish "a pluralist, democratic civil state" that would give Kurds equal rights.

"There has been violence on the Kurdish people in Syria long before the uprising began (in March). Kurds do not have equal rights. There are many things pushing us to energetically take part in the revolution," he said, also stressing the need to put more pressure on the international community to help push through a regime change.

In their earlier statement, organisers said "the conference will provide a roadmap that provides a fair political solution for the Kurdish people's cause according to the rules of the UN and international treaties, and at the same level with all other (ethnic groups) in Syria".

When the conference concludes Sunday afternoon, organisers will publish a declaration of intent and announce possible future meetings of the conference, Akko said.

According to the United Nations, more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since the protests began.

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