Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ankara goes back to the drawing board in an effort to better calibrate its Mideast policies following the shock of the Egyptian military coup

    Saturday, July 13, 2013   No comments

Disappointed with the Egyptian coup that ousted its best regional ally, Mohamed Morsi, Turkish diplomacy is seeking to fine-tune its overall Mideast policies with particular emphasis on how the Arab Spring will evolve amid ongoing turmoil in Egypt and Syria.

Although Ankara has hinted at keeping up its current “principle-based stance” on developments in the region, such as objecting to the military coup in Egypt, the Foreign Ministry is pursuing adjustments in order to narrow the gap in opinions with regional administrations and better inform those countries about the keys to Turkey’s policies.

Ankara reviewed its Middle Eastern policy earlier this month at a meeting of Turkish ambassadors under the direction of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu with particular emphasis on the coup in Egypt and the civil war in Syria.

In a 14-hour presentation and brainstorming session, Turkish ambassadors in the Mideast and in prominent capitals discussed how Turkey’s policies regarding the region, particularly toward Cairo and Damascus, are being perceived.

Davutoğlu asked the envoys to outline Turkey’s policies in a better and more frequent way, a participant told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that those policies were “non-sectarian.”

“Turkey does not take sides with either Sunnis or Shiites. Ankara’s foreign policy is impartial, inclusive,” the minister asked envoys to stress when they return to their postings.

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