6 Ocak 2011 Perşembe

The Syrian Turkish-Israeli rapprochement

Solon SOLOMON                       Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

Once again it is Syria. The deep Turkish-Israeli rupture emerged after then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seemed to disappoint Turkish expectations by conducting a major military operation only days after meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during Turkish mediation between Syria and Israel.

According to reports in a Kuwaiti newspaper, Syria has again demonstrated interest in engaging in dialogue with Israel. On an interesting note, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close confidante in the U.S. Jewish community, Malcolm Hoenlein, visited Damascus and according to reports in the Israeli media, conveyed a message from the Israeli prime minister to Bashar al-Assad.

Despite Israel’s formal denial, something seems to be moving on the Syrian track. Yet, as in the past, in order to materialize it will probably need a third party. This will inevitably bring Turkey again to the frontlines. Although Netanyahu has ruled out in the past such a possibility, Israel realizes that Turkey is the real addressee on the issue. Ankara, which has tried to become a regional factor of stability, would not like to miss such an opportunity.

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