Ankara's diplomatic rationality at G20 summit

Published 05.07.2019 22:33
Updated 06.07.2019 00:23

The G20 Osaka summit is over. It was very constructive in terms of Turkey's relations with the U.S. and Russia. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had very important bilateral meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders. The meetings showed that the efforts to encircle Turkey and force it to adopt a one-dimensional foreign policy are fake. Turkey has good reasons to purchase the S-400 defense missiles from Russia and expect the F-35s from the U.S. at the same time.

Trump's statement, pointing out that President Erdoğan made a logical decision in buying S-400 missiles simply out of the economic calculation and that there won't be any sanctions against Turkey for receiving the S-400s, is crucial. It says that the U.S. president is backing strong relations with Turkey as before and will not allow the powers who want Ankara to slide away from NATO to become successful.

The tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have escalated in recent months over Ankara's purchase of the S-400s, and Washington threatened Turkey to jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 program.

However, President Trump turned this atmosphere upside down. He blamed the standoff on then-President Barack Obama's refusal to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey and said that Turkey had not been treated fairly.

These positive messages were complemented with pictures of both presidents making victory signs and smiling together which were taken by the Turkish Presidential Communications Director, professor Fahrettin Altun. This historic picture shows the continuity of U.S.-Turkey alliance.

All in all, we can say that the long trip covering Japan and China was very fruitful in terms of Turkish foreign policy. In an interview with journalists Thursday, President Erdoğan gave some important messages. One of them was about the tension surrounding Iran.

Erdoğan said he is willing to mediate between the U.S. and Iran to ease tensions over the latter's nuclear program. He added that he had discussed the issue of a possible mediation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 meetings.

Iran warned it would increase its uranium stock after Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal.

So now we see a foreign policy line from Turkey which can mediate between actors, has good relations with the U.S. and Russia at the same time and is aiming at a multipolar diplomacy line. If Ankara can succeed and continue to go on like this it can make the country safer and stronger.

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