President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria seems to have surprised even shocked many, particularly in Washington. His brief announcement left many questions unanswered. Had he been a consistent leader steering his administration in close consultation with a steady team of senior officials, explaining the rational of his policies using conventional methods instead of tweets, maintaining close consultation/cooperation with allies, the reaction could have been different.
In response to criticism he tweeted: “Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years…”
He was not the only one. This is precisely why David E. Sanger’s New York Times article of December 19 carried the title, “A Strategy of Retreat in Syria, With Echoes of Obama”, whom Mr. Trump has constantly reviled. Okumaya devam et →
The remedy to world’s problems is effective multilateralism. Since the U.N. resists reform and is dysfunctional, regular international gatherings of leading countries understandably create expectations. The G20 is such a group. Collectively, G20 members make up 85% of the world’s economic output, 66% of its population, 75% of international trade and 80% of global investment. Countries which chair key regional groups are invited to the summits making it more representative. Thus, it is one of world’s leading international forums on global affairs where members can rise above narrow agendas and engage in meaningful dialogue. For that to happen, however, there must be a collective will which is lacking. Had there been such a will perhaps the U.N. wouldn’t have been such a disappointment. Okumaya devam et →
After “The End” in a movie comes the closing credits with the names of the director, writer, producer, leading cast, supporting cast, director of photography and others who have contributed to its making. “The End” in the Khashoggi tragedy is unlikely to come any time soon but the audience already knows the story and the leading cast.
“Statement from President Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia” issued on November 20, 2018 summed up Washington’s position: Iran is “the world’s leading sponsor of terror” and the Saudis have been a great ally in the fight against Tehran and that is not going to change. Okumaya devam et →
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 →
After a confrontational NATO summit in Brussels where the primus inter pares target was Germany and a UK visit which was characterized by some observers as an “assault on diplomatic norms” President Trump met his Russian counterpart in Helsinki. He arrived in the Finnish capital leaving behind a week of controversy while the latter came from a successful World Cup which gave its host Russia added international visibility. At the beginning of the Helsinki meeting President Trump repeated his conviction that good relations between Washington and Moscow are good for both countries and the world. Okumaya devam et →
Donald Trump took the oath of office as the President of the United States on January 20, 2017. By then, the Ukraine conflict had already turned into a frozen one and despite statements regarding non-recognition of Crimea’s annexation by Russia everybody knew that the clock could not be turned back. Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov had failed to ensure progress in Syria’s political transition despite frequent claims that “when they cooperated, the two countries could make a difference”. Washington’s relations Beijing were experiencing the usual ups and downs related to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. NATO solidarity looked strong. The JCPOA signed between P5+1 and Iran was globally endorsed as a good investment the exception being PM Netanyahu and some Gulf states. Emphasis on Israeli-Palestinian peace and democratic evolution had further widened the rift between Washington on one side and Israel and the Gulf states on the other. In brief, not everything was perfect; there was still a lot to worry about but dealing with unpredictability had not become the first and foremost challenge. Okumaya devam et →
On April 22 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that “under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission.” And, in a span of a few months, DPRK’s “reclusive leader” moved to the center stage of world diplomacy almost as an astute statesman, one who acts but avoids unnecessary talk. He visited China twice; he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in twice; Secretary of State Pompeo visited him twice in Pyongyang and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov delivered him an invitation by President Putin to visit Russia.
Throughout the Singapore summit President Trump acted as if he was the host. His body language and remarks were designed to underline who was the principal actor. The meeting no doubt also had an internal politics dimension. After the talks, President Trump said that he had formed a very special bond with Kim Jong Un. Thus, he showed once again that he is determined to remain Mr. Unpredictable. Okumaya devam et →