Turkish foreign policy kicks off 2022 at a fast and sustained pace

With the increase in diplomatic traffic in the last quarter of 2021, it has become clear which areas Turkey will focus on to achieve tangible foreign policy gains in 2022.

In particular, Turkey, which has started the normalization process with several countries both bilaterally and regionally, seems to intend to continue these steps in the new year.

Ankara has sought ways to create common solutions in line with its win-win strategy despite differences of opinion on bilateral relations and regional issues with important partners such as Russia, the United States and the European Union.

On the one hand, Turkey’s strategic approach, which continues to seek regional alliances, should be evaluated as part of the normalization stages with the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the United States. Armenia, especially in the last quarter of 2021.

On the other hand, it would not be surprising to say that Turkey, which continues to act as a mediator in global and regional crises as well as a critical member of NATO, will be much more active in helping to calm crises. in 2022.

Therefore, it would be useful to analyze the meetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to find clues and follow in their footsteps to make sharp assessments for the New Year.

ErdoÄŸan conducted his first telephone conversation of 2022 with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, this weekend. ErdoÄŸan assessed regional issues and international developments, especially in the Caucasus, Syria and Libya, which will continue to be on Turkey and Russia’s agenda in the New Year.

A statement from the Presidential Communications Office said the two leaders will maintain their resolve and commitment to promote cooperation between Turkey and Russia in all fields during the meeting, while the Kremlin statement also said that the Russian proposals regarding various security guarantees to the United States and NATO were discussed.

Another interesting development, Çavuşoğlu had a telephone meeting with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken, on Tuesday. The main topic was the tension between Russia and NATO over Ukraine. During the meeting, developments in bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, the border crisis between Sudan and Ethiopia, the process of normalization and revitalization of the strategic mechanism in the Caucasus and the Russian tension- Ukrainian were discussed ahead of upcoming NATO and OSCE meetings, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The US State Department’s statement regarding the meeting also said the two ministers discussed developments in the Horn of Africa, as well as the appointment of a special envoy to discuss the Turkish-Armenian normalization process and negotiations. efforts to deepen bilateral cooperation.

Among other important developments in the first days of the new year, ErdoÄŸan announced that he would visit Saudi Arabia in February. This will be his first visit to Saudi Arabia since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. In the same month, ErdoÄŸan will also visit Dubai to visit the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan . (MBZ), who traveled to Turkey after a long absence in November 2021.

Meanwhile, regarding standardization steps with the UAE, Çavusoglu said Abu Dhabi has submitted a bid on land transport and Turkey is also warmly considering. Responding to the Daily Sabah’s question at the annual press conference, ÇavuÅŸoÄŸlu also said United Arab Emirates officials told Ankara that Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates could operate Kabul airport on a tripartite basis.

In another remarkable step, after years of frozen relations, neighboring countries Turkey and Armenia have announced that they are seeking to normalize their relations within the framework of regional integration and cooperation efforts in the South Caucasus.

Special envoys from Turkey and Armenia will hold the first round of talks aimed at normalizing relations in Moscow on January 14, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, as the two countries work to restore relations after disasters. years of animosity. Armenia has also announced that it will lift the embargo on Turkish products as of January 1, one of the first results of the process, in addition to mutual flights that will soon resume between the two countries.

In light of all these developments, while these normalization steps constitute an important strategic dimension of Turkey’s foreign policy in 2022, the other step will be to form an important mediating role that will help resolve regional and global crises.

ÇavuÅŸoÄŸlu also spoke by phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday. According to the Foreign Ministry statement, ÇavuÅŸoÄŸlu and Stoltenberg held talks and exchanged views ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting and the NATO-Russia Council meeting, scheduled for January 12, in the context of growing tension over Ukraine and political unrest in Kazakhstan.

Another indication of the intense diplomatic traffic in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu spoke on Thursday by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The two discussed the NATO-Russia council meeting, current developments in Kazakhstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Caucasus.

It won’t be hard to guess that Turkey is likely to play an important mediating role in Russian-Western tensions, as well as in the case of Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Turkey, which has historical and cultural ties to these countries while being a member of NATO, is in a unique, if not inevitable, position to mediate international and regional disputes.

It is likely that in the new year, not only countries where normalization measures are underway, but also NATO and the EU will be knocking on Turkey’s door much more in 2022, as is the case with Russia.

Overall, the greatest strength of Turkish foreign policy in this period will be its flexibility in all these areas and countries, its inclusive approach and the fact that it respects the principle of multilateralism with sincerity and reliability.

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