Crossfire War – Ankara – Tehran – Riyadh Watch – West Asia Theatre: Ankara – Tunis – Tripoli – Damascus – Riyadh – Baghdad/Cairo – Jerusalem – London – Washington – Paris – Rome; Turkey Invited to Arab League FM Meeting for First Time – Strategic Cooperation
Night Watch: ESENBOGA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – Turkey Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, speaking Saturday at Esenboga International Airport, outlined Ankara’s reasons for accepting their invitation to attend in Cairo the Arab League Foreign Ministers Council Session. Xinhua reports this is the first time Turkey has ever been invited and Gul stated it is for cooperation on regional-international issues. He is aware, as is the entire Arab League, that any successful cooperation by Islamic countries will reduce the influence of most NATO governments in West Asia (Middle East), but not for Athens-Ankara. [XINHUA]
Because of Greece-Turkey’s increasing opposition to the West for its policies concerning the Balkans and West Asia, Athens-Ankara have openly increased their cooperation with the Islamic world in blatant defiance of Brussels. NATO has always been primarily directed by governments in Northern and Western Europe. Their decision to recognize Yugoslavia’s division and to use the war to make a power projection has alienated all of Southeast Europe from the West and increased Southeast Europe’s cooperation with Islamic capitals.
Both governments know war is going to increase in a number of theatres this year, Balkans – due to Kosovo, against Israel, and Ankara-Tehran will increase their military cooperation against Kurdish nationalistic groups in both their countries even to the point of sending forces into Kurdish areas of Iraq. Ankara will then, along with all the other governments they are working with, will the sit back and watch the awkward, confused reponse of Brussels and whatever is left of its command and control. The West’s regrouping around Rome, which began last summer with the Rome Conference, will become more obvious, a very defensive regrouping.
The Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting is Sunday. Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia News Agency has announced Gul is to specifically meet Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshiar al-Zebari and Egypt Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. But I suspect he will also spend a lot of time with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan. Gul is then scheduled to visit Egypt President Hosni Mubarak at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in an attempt to convince Mubarak that in order to save his administration he would have to support the region’s policies even if it means ending his strategic cooperation with the West, something Mubarak is extremely proud of. That is why the next war against Israel will have more impact on Mubarak.