*Due to Network system on 03/16/2007. We didn't post our daily blog on FRIDAY, As such, we are posting two (2)Blogs Today.
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For hundreds and hundreds of years, it has been the fate of this geography we occupy: occupiers from outside the region come to burn and destroy, leading to the shaking up of all balances and the re-drawing of borders.
After they depart, we are left to straighten out the imbalances, fix the negative effects of the false societal and geographic equations engineered by the invading forces, de-activate the seeds of enmity strewn throughout the region and start up peace efforts once more.
The most recent example of these cyclical, historical truths emerged with the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the subsequent Baghdad-centered crises of continually changing dimensions. The situation in Iraq has dragged the people and the leaders of the region into dramatic dead-end positions, leaving them alone, without solutions, to face their problems.
The meeting which recently took place in Riyadh between Saudi King Abdullah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad examined the situation discussed above, looking at ways that society in Iraq, which has been left without solutions, could struggle for initiatives. These two regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, had not held such a summit for years, nor even felt the need to hold one. Beyond looking at the bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, this meeting also dealt with analyses of the chaotic atmosphere in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, offering an opportunity for debate about which of the current factors may pose the greatest risks for the future.
Another special feature of the Riyadh summit was that it included not only matters related to Iran and Saudi Arabia but to other countries whose views were represented by these two nations as a result of the taking of sides which has occurred over the past few months. A recent summit of Muslim countries in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad included Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the results of this summit was that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul visited Riyadh at the end of February, attending a meeting of the Arab League while he was there. The February Arab League meeting led to a discussion of regional problems and the start-up of action on a number of fronts throughout the Middle East.
Meanwhile, another regional alliance of powers such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine and the countries which support these groups, such as Yemen and Libya, are resisting Saudi Arabia’s attempts to create a powerful front, hoping instead to grab control and a say in regional affairs for themselves.
The Riyadh meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iran put on the table results from both the Pakistan and the Arab League summits, creating a strategy for rescuing the region’s future. The alliance between Saudi Arabia and Iran is one which boasts both population and military strength. It must not be ignored that important steps have been taken on the front of Iran’s nuclear power ambitions, a subject which stands in the face of this alliance.
The discussions and voiced demands that emerged from the Riyadh meetings openly displayed this country’s new strategy and efforts to raise support for the region. It also made these new strategies and efforts clear to Iran. Thus it was resolved that:
In reference to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, if Tehran does not put an end to its nuclear project and if there is a war situation which develops between the US-Israel-Iran, neither Saudi Arabia nor the other countries represented in its alliance can be expected to extend support to Tehran.
The leadership in Riyadh has openly displayed its displeasure with the Washington administration’s stance toward the region and is insisting that the US change its current policies toward both Iraq and Iran. To this end, the Riyadh meeting confirmed that it would be right for the alliance to open the way for these developments.
It was agreed upon that a pullback by Israel to its pre-1967 borders could build the foundation for peace in the region by allowing countries who currently refuse to have diplomatic relations with Israel to forge relations.
There was a call made for Syria to reconsider its relations with Iran; if not, to understand that it could be shunned by many regional nations.
Both the US and most regional counties are in agreement that a domestic coup in Iran or a movement to forcefully change the regime would not produce results. In the same way though, many regional nations see the weakening of Iran in the face of Israel as a problem of choice. Iran must re-examine the ongoing regional developments and must stop creating politics over the clashes between Shiites and Sunnis in the region. Iran is face to face with the risk of the splintering of the alliance which it heads. To this end, it was Saudi Arabia which played a key role in the Lebanon crisis, bringing about a temporary agreement as well as bringing forward the Mecca Accords in the Palestine conflict, two steps which presented important steps in the weakening of Iran.
Riyadh’s recent moves are not only gaining support from certain regional power but also from the US and the EU. As for Iran’s response, because of its lack of trust for this alliance, and in case of future isolating measures against it, it is looking for support from countries like China, Russia, and North Korea.
Keeping all these developments in mind, it is clear that Turkey has not stayed far behind, whether through its recent shuttle diplomacy efforts or its participation in the Islamabad and Arab League summits. With this, just as Turkey has not entered into the strengthening alliance against Iran, the political-military-intelligence meetings traffic which has been aimed at the ruling AK Party administration in recent weeks has not changed Ankara’s policy on Iran. In addition, Turkey’s own foreign minister has proclaimed that Turkey will not be entering into any cooperative measures or taking any steps to isolate Iran. Turkey’s stance towards Tehran should not be interpreted as being grounded in a policy of pressure but as that of a warning neighbor. In this sense, Ankara is trying to protect its strategy of maintaining regional balances.
As we can see, as things remain heated in the Middle East region, balances are being shifted and re-shaped and one of the most prominent states in the area has made efforts to find solutions its primary task. The powers which have wrought chaos on this region have used great skill and adroitness in bringing us face to face with each other; they have also made it the responsibility of local leaderships to protect their own interests. The most prominent countries in the region will pass through important tests in terms of breaking this vicious cycle when they attend the Baghdad meeting of neighboring countries as well as the upcoming summit of Arab League leaders in Riyadh. What is clear at this stage though is that no solutions which require the exclusion of either the Riyadh-centered organization or the Tehran-centered alliance are going to be implemented.