Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Turkey will move to undermine France’s position in Syria & Lebanon'

"... Turkey has also indicated that it will move to undermine France’s position in the Middle East, particularly Syria and Lebanon, where France has the strongest links, and in the South Caucasus. Ankara has complained about France’s role in the OSCE Minsk Group, which is tasked with mediating a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. .......  with tension in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean already high, having two NATO allies at loggerheads as well as further tensions in EU-NATO cooperation is far from desirable. Turkey is clearly aiming to prevent Paris increasing its role in those countries in which France believes it has a strong influence. Unfortunately this conflict will weaken the international communities’ position in this region and serves no useful purpose at all.
If the senate adopts the bill, it will damage relations permanently. It could also create difficulties for Turks visiting France, particularly academics and diplomats, as they may be asked the genocide question and could face charges. There is also fear it could lead to further legal actions, such as demands for reparations or territorial claims. With its tough response, Turkey wants to send the message to other countries not to copy the French, as the reaction will be severe. With the Arab Awakening still unfolding, requiring a unified front from Euro-Atlantic actors, Sarkozy’s timing could hardly have been worse."

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