In an interview with “Arabi 21”, the Deputy Chair of the Center for Diplomatic Affairs and Political Studies (DIPAM), Ahmet İŞCAN pointed out indications for possible coordination, which he described as “operational”, between the two countries, which may start within weeks.
İŞCAN added that the region witnessed a move that reflects “will and strength” of Turkey and Iran meeting twice, “the first at the beginning of the Gulf crisis and the blockade of Qatar, and the second in confronting the project of secession of Northern Iraq.”
He continued: “This deal (the normalization of the UAE and Israel) could awaken the dragon once again, Turkey with its strength and its position with the peoples of the region, and Iran through its dynamic proxies and regional threats to the Gulf.”
İŞCAN explained that harming the Palestinian cause provokes the “prestige of Turkey” in front of the peoples of the region, which is what makes them adopt a firm stance against the American plans.
He also stressed that the UAE side is concerned with directing its alliance with the occupation against Turkey, but Israel’s focus on its security prompts it to avoid targeting a strong country, -may be the strongest in the region-, despite the stalemate in relations between the two sides, according to him.
The context of the “Trump re-election”
However, İŞCAN referred to a completely different context for the normalization deal, related to the American elections and the need for President Donald Trump and his allies, for papers that enhance his chances of winning a second term next November, especially that the Jewish influence (supporting the occupation) who is strong in the political system in the United States and in the mainstream media organs. ”
The Turkish expert expressed his expectation, in this context, that the plan to annex the occupation of Palestinian lands, by Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would be accelerated prior to the elections, and that other Arab leaders, during the same period, would join the ranks of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed, in normalization.
İŞCAN emphasized that the agreement will be expanded because the main and primary actor in it is the White House advisor, Jared Kushner, meaning Trump and the US administration that “provides internal legitimacy and vital security” to Gulf regimes, to conclude by saying: “From this perspective, this deal has meanings. Different from the point of view of the UAE, Israel and the United States. ”
American “balance” between “enemies and allies”
When asked about the reality in the eastern Mediterranean, and the danger of a large alliance rallying against Turkey, especially after “normalizing the Emirates”, İŞCAN said that his country’s biggest supporter in this file is international law, which it fully adheres to, which prevents other parties from investing loopholes to confront Ankara before the international legitimacy.
On the other hand, according to him, the United States would balance its relations in the region by supporting Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
He explained, “This is a usual foreign policy of the United States. This American policy dilemma is familiar to the entire region, on the one hand it supports the UAE deal with Israel, and on the other hand, it may use its weight in favor of Turkey in the (Eastern Mediterranean) region.”
He added that one of the main reasons for the United States’ siding with Turkey in the Mediterranean is to achieve balance with Russia, which is increasing its influence in the region, which is of great importance as it is the southern gateway to Europe.
İŞCAN pointed out that Moscow’s increasing influence in the Mediterranean and the Middle East creates pressure on Trump in his domestic political position as well, given that he is already suffering from a problem regarding alleged suspicious relations with Russia.”
In the same context, İŞCAN said, “Turkey’s strong hand in the field provides it with a wide space for diplomatic maneuver as well. Egypt, which has great support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, today has a bigger problem than the eastern Mediterranean, which is the Nile crisis.”
He continued: “Turkey’s contacts with Ethiopia in recent weeks were a step against Egypt in this regard,” noting that the latter will face an economic and strategic danger, in the event that the Nile crisis deepens, greater than it can be confronted by relying on the Gulf.
On the other hand, İŞCAN added, “A potential deal between Turkey and Egypt will provide great benefits to the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The real statesmanship approach requires such a step that Cairo must take towards Ankara.”
He said, “The recent statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Egypt can be read as a green light for relations between the two countries.”
He continued, “As President Erdogan mentioned, the intelligence services of the two countries are in contact. We will likely see how Egypt will respond to this green light that eliminates the threats to its strategic presence.”
This interview has been published in “Arabi 21” in August 21, 2020. https://bit.ly/3hlyQjw