The Importance of Local Initiative in the Syria Issue

The Importance of Local Initiative in the Syria Issue

It is very important that the regional initiative should be strengthened, take the lead and find a solution to the Syria issue within the axis of the future, peace and stability of the region. Neither US nor EU or Russia care about the peace and stability of the region. Each have their own issues to deal, and they are not interested in how much blood is/will be shed in Syria or Iraq. On the contrary, they continue becoming part of the problem rather being part of the solution.
Is it the destiny of this region to wait for an agreement between the US and Russia to find a solution to the Syria issue? In fact both the fatalism and perpetration of the human being is not a destiny but in most ways his/her own decision. The situation is the same for countries. Why should Turkey and Iran be on different position on the Syria issue?
The fact that Iran’s policy for Syria and Iraq is related to its Shiite character is an assessment requiring questioning. We see that the Arab Spring has now been exposed to a sectarian deviation with Assad exploiting Shiite belief and Iran welcoming such a policy. However there is no benefit in labeling this movement as a sectarian clash neither for Shiite belief nor for Iran. At the beginning of the Arab Spring, Iran was following a policy parallel to Turkey and was gaining great prestige among Arab nations for this policy.
However now this prestige has turned upside down due to Iran’s policy in Syria and Iraq. In fact the support they give to Assad despite all his crimes has nothing to do with sectarianism; but this support has spread the perception of sectarianism and makes Iran to play to an alternative which will lose sooner or later. In this way Iran loses the chance of having a word in the future of currently shaping Middle East. The support they give to Assad costs Iran too much. Among these costs, we should write on top the dispute they fell with Turkey. Clearly this crisis has added nothing to Iran, but is taking away lots of assets; in addition it damages the stability, peace and independence of the region. Iran, this way, is serving for the formation of an environment, in which the nations of this region cannot get on well with each other unless the interference of the external powers. Iran is doing this in the name of a so called anti-USA-Israel policy. In case the problem in Syria goes on this way, the problem solving capacity of the regional actors, especially Iran, is becoming inefficient, and the stage is left to non regional actors.
In this aspect, the activation of the regional initiative is very important. The first meeting of the regional initiative of Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia was summoned by the Foreign Ministers of these countries in Cairo in September. Vision lacking names considered this meeting as a negative point for Turkish diplomacy on the basis that the meeting was summoned in Cairo by passing Istanbul. Such people need to be taught a lesson on the new Turkish diplomacy and told that it was the Turkish side, which insisted the meeting should take place in Cairo.
The justification of this choice, which was explained directly by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, shows that the regional initiative could only be achieved through solidarity rather than competing.
In fact one of the first things to talk about is this. Turkey is not competing with any other country for the solution of Syria crisis. The above sample best explains that Turkey is not on competition neither with Egypt nor with Iran. Actually if Iran trusted this new regional initiative rather than worrying uselessly about post Assad era in Syria, and recognize that it is more profitable to invest to the peace and stability of the region rather than competing with other actors of the region, it would only have then avoided interference of the imperialist powers to the region.
The meeting in Cairo, together with Turkey’s insistence to hold the meeting in Cairo, and apart from absence of the Saudi FM due to his negative health condition, was a very successful meeting from the point of acceptance of this reality. It appears that this initiative shall resume.
It is possible to say that Turkey, Egypt and Iran, which Professor Davutoğlu refers to as being the “triple helix” of the region, never had such opportunity to determine destiny of the region by themselves. There should be no worries regarding the wonderful return of Egypt to the history of region with a concern that it will push back Turkey to a secondary role; on the contrary one should see new opportunities for Turkey as Egypt will grow stronger. This case shows that the new and peculiar language of the foreign policy is speaking. Why should Egypt or Iran’s strengthening be against Turkey or other actors in the region? I accept this question look to naïve from the point of usual political logic; however is not this usual political logic that requires interference?
It seems some groups are very happy as Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy is not actualized currently. Can anyone tell what these groups want? Does experiencing problems with everyone around make them happier? It seems the answer is yes. They are happy because they think current/potential problems show that they are right. Just to disappoint them, we should say that “zero problems” objective is a target and there is not a tiny deviation from this target. In fact much way than expected has been taken to achieve this objective.
It is also not true that we are having problems with everyone. There is no other country, apart from Syria, with who our relations have worsened. It is not only Turkey but almost the whole world that is having problems with Syria because this country has problems with all including itself. Turkey’s relations with all neighbors including Russia, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan and even with Iran are at it best times. In addition Turkey is holding joint ministerial meetings with countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya showing its good relations with these countries.

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