Erdogan is important because he — and Turkey generally — have played an increasingly important role as intermediary between Israel and the Arabs, both with Syria and in Gaza. Erdogan and the Turkish foreign minister, Ali Babacan, separately said that the Israeli-Syrian indirect talks (which Turkey mediated) had made great progress, until the Israeli assault on Gaza killed the process for the time being. Turkey could play a very important role in the area since it has ties with Israel as well as Iran and the Arab states, but I worry a little bit that Erdogan’s anger at Israel is so deep that mediation may be more difficult.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Mediation for Mediators
After what happened in Davos, it increasingly looks like it's Turkey and Israel that are in need of a mediator. The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof is blogging from Davos, and had this to say about what he saw during the Erdogan-Peres session: