Aylık arşivler: Ekim 2018

The Quadrilateral İstanbul Summit on Syria

October 29, 2018

At the end of September 2018, the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States came together in New York and issued a statement. After repeating for the umpteenth time that there is no military solution to the conflict, they called on the UN and Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to convene, as quickly as possible, a credible, inclusive constitutional committee that will begin drafting a new Syrian constitution.  They also urged him to report back to the Security Council no later than October 31.

While Mr. de Mistura has said he is not going to lay down the charge until the last hour of the last day of his mandate, this gives him just another month since his resignation will take effect at the end of November.

On 27 October, Presidents Erdoğan, Putin, Macron and Chancellor Merkel met in İstanbul for the Quadrilateral Summit on Syria. Interestingly, the four leaders came together in this format for the first time and concluded their meeting with a joint statement expressing a commitment to working together. Whether such meetings would continue either at heads of State or ministerial level remains to be seen. Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

“Time heals what reason cannot.” SENECA

October 26, 2018

The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following on bilateral political relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia:

“Turkey has deep-rooted historical and cultural ties with Saudi Arabia and enjoys excellent relations in all fields based on friendship, fraternity, mutual respect and common interests. Being two important countries of our region and the Islamic world, Turkey and Saudi Arabia closely cooperate towards preserving regional peace and stability. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia share the political will to further deepen their relations in all fields…”

The reality is different.

U.S. State Department fact sheet on Saudi Arabia also mentions a long-standing bilateral relationship highlighting common interests. It says:

“… Saudi Arabia’s unique role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, its possession of the world’s largest reserves of oil, and its strategic location all play a role in the long-standing bilateral relationship between the Kingdom and the United States… Saudi Arabia plays an important leadership role in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region and is a strong partner in security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation…”

Again, the reality is different as the increasing souring of relations showed towards the end of President Obama’s second term as a result of Riyadh’s failure to convince the Obama administration that it was effectively combating extremism and the war in Yemen. President Trump’s Washington is now struggling to determine how it should handle the current crisis so that its “not so steady to start with” relationship with the Kingdom is kept on track. Okumaya devam et

The Khashoggi Tragedy: Waiting for “The End”

October 17, 2018

Two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, the Turkish-Saudi “working group” finally searched the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the scene of the alleged crime.

On Monday, President Trump had a telephone conversation with King Salman and decided to send Secretary Pompeo to Riyadh. After the call, Mr. Trump said it was possible that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. A Saudi official told Reuters that the King had ordered the Public Prosecutor to open an internal investigation.

Since all the facts regarding the alleged crime are unlikely to be established with speed, one may look at what has been said by key players and try to draw some conclusions. Okumaya devam et

The Khashoggi Tragedy

October 12, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi’s abduction/murder mystery must have been a nightmare for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leadership. During the last ten years few foreign leaders have been spared from their personal attacks in times of discord. Yet, despite ups and downs, disagreements, disappointments in the effort to topple President Assad, Turkey’s leaders have not uttered a word reflecting their frustration with Riyadh’s policies. This was not because of Saudi Arabia’s money. This was because they are the “custodians of the two holy mosques”, Islam’s holiest shrines. As such, they were beyond reproach, sacrosanct. Okumaya devam et

Syria’s Uncertain Future

October 3, 2018

On September 27, 2018, the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States, members of the “Small Group on Syria” issued a statement. After repeating for the umpteenth time that there is no military solution to the conflict they called on the UN and Staffan de Mistura to convene, as quickly as possible, a credible, inclusive constitutional committee that will begin drafting a new Syrian constitution and laying the groundwork for free and fair UN-supervised elections in a safe and neutral environment in which all eligible Syrians – including those in the diaspora – have a right to participate.  They urged Mr. Mistura to report back to the Security Council on his progress no later than October 31. The reference to “Syrians including those in the diaspora” covers primarily those in Syria’s neighbors, among them Turkey now home to 3.5 million Syrian refugees. Okumaya devam et