Minor diplomatic activities in the Middle East

A report by the American magazine “Foreign Policy” said that the contacts and diplomatic exchanges taking place in the Middle East today are nothing but competition by various means.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the past few days on a visit to the Kingdom. And Iranian media confirmed in late April that senior security officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran had met in a fifth-round normalization talks sponsored by the Iraqi and Omani governments. Last March, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey in the first visit of its kind by a high-ranking Israeli official to Turkey in 14 years. In the same month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took part in the Expo 2020 in Dubai, where he met with Emirati leaders. Erdogan also visited the United Arab Emirates last February, after the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi visited Turkey last November. During the winter, the Emirates and the Iranians exchanged trade and investment delegations.

And according to the “Al-Hal Net” website, all these diplomatic activities have certain pillars in Washington that talk about regional “de-escalation” and “reorganization”. This is a point in favor of proponents of the US withdrawal from the Middle East, and the logic is that if regional actors act responsibly and resolve their differences, then the United States can withdraw its return only in the event of a crisis. and limited.

What is incredible is that this latest diplomatic wave ushers in a new era of love, peace and understanding in the Middle East. Instead, the various reorganizations and awareness-raising processes underway in the region are just another way in which its leaders can follow the same competition and struggles that have taken place over the past decade.

It is good for regional forces to talk to each other. The conventional wisdom is that money drives a new regional climate with investment and economic cooperation, rather than proxy wars. This is very logical, as Erdogan’s economic mismanagement was an additional reason for the Turkish lira crisis that lasted for years, and the Turkish leader promised to develop the economy from the disaster he himself created with inflation that about Reached 70 percent. In doing so, he abandoned the hostile rhetoric about Emirati that includes, among other things, bad things pirates, ignorant and incompetent. Erdogan also moved the trial of the people accused of killing Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, which ended any possibility of holding them accountable. This is the new geopolitical version of the business, hoping to get some investment from the massive Gulf sovereign wealth funds, trade deals, currency swaps and possibly sales of its drones.

To be fair, the Turkish government’s approach to Israel is not about money as many might think. Officials in Ankara believe that if they communicate with the Israeli government, it will relieve pressure on them in Washington. And there is definitely a reason for this convergence! After all, there is a rationale for Egypt’s relations with the United States, in which Israel plays a role.

The Turks apparently believe that Jewish and pro-Israel organizations in the United States will defend on their behalf if Erdogan welcomes his Israeli counterpart and exchanges their phone calls. Regardless of the blunt view of these groups’ influence, there is little evidence that American Jewish groups or pro-Israel groups are willing to help Erdogan, whether to get Turkey out of US sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missiles , or to annul the Department of Justice’s investigation. The United States has been accused by Halkbank, which is controlled by the Turkish government, of allegations of sanctions violations and other fraud.

On the other hand, it has been reported that the Emiratis is interested in investment opportunities in Iran when it comes to de-escalation with it, especially the renewable energy project. But the Saudis and the Iranians have not made much progress in relations. The best one can say about these meetings is that they are still taking place. Despite all this talk of collaboration, however, it’s hard not to believe that something else is going on. After a decade in which they called each other terrorists, accused each other of being sources of regional instability, and armed each other’s opponents, current statements about a new era of fraternal relationships were deeply confusing.

Regional leaders are now trying a different approach, having shown their inability to impose their will on their opponents by force. The Emirati, for example, has barely declared their love for Erdogan, and a confident smile on the face of the Saudi crown prince, in one of the photos taken during the Turkish president’s recent visit, indicates that the Saudis, like the Emirati . , is well aware of Erdogan’s desperation due to the weak economy and poll numbers poor opinion. This makes it a suitable moment for these Gulf states to impose some influence on Ankara through its financial power, something they could not develop by, for example, supporting Khalifa Haftar in Libya, who was trying to become a Turkish ally , overthrow the internationally recognized Libyan government. in Tripoli.

The Israelis, in turn, are wary of the Turks. They do not trust Erdogan, but it seems as if they are playing with him, especially if they can get something out of the Turkish leader’s need to improve his position in Washington, in exchange for forcing Erdogan to tighten the screws on Hamas turn, which was backed by Ankara as it would be a victory for the current Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett.

Meanwhile, the Israelis are not ready to give up their strong economic and security ties with Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey’s opponents, in order to improve relations with Ankara. This is similar to Egypt’s approach to Turkey’s coordinated and so far unsuccessful attempts to bring Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to justice.

Today, the Turkish government wants to restore its relations with Israel and Egypt. Why this change? The answer is limited to only two words: Greece and Cyprus. The Israelis, Egyptians, Greeks and Cypriots have all intensified their relations with each other in response to Turkey’s unnecessarily aggressive stance in the eastern Mediterranean. Amid talk of de-escalation and reorganization, it seems clear that Turkey is trying to distance two strong friends from Athens and Nicosia. Indeed, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominating everyone’s attention, few have noticed the recent, accelerated increase in Turkish invasion of Greek airspace over the Aegean Sea. It seems that Turkey wants to de-escalate in some places so that it can escalate in others.

Then there is Iran’s dialogue with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. And when the Emirates and Saudis meet to talk to the Iranians, their weakness towards Tehran, whether its missiles or its proxies, is very clear. They therefore have good reason to reduce tensions, especially as they believe they can no longer rely on the United States as a source of regional security and stability.

However, this de-escalation is aimed at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates trying to shorten the time to find out how to best confront the Iranian threat, whether it is by getting closer to Israel, with the Chinese and Russian governments to work together, or to develop nuclear energy. Sharing the region with Iran is not something that neighboring countries on the west side of the Gulf tend to do, with the exception of Qatar.


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