Connect with us

Middle East

Who will be the leader of Turkey after Erdogan?

Published

on

erdogan elections

Since President Erdogan has been successful in every election he has entered for years, there is a view that “Erdogan will never lose” which is accepted by most of the people in Turkey. This is actually a reasonable view because, despite several adverse events, Erdogan and the AK Party have been superior to the polls for years.

I think that President Erdogan will win the next election, even if he is not as strong as he used to be, as long as his health allows him and he wants to be in the political arena.

But of course, it is a fact that Erdogan is not as powerful as he was a few years ago, and the criticism towards the Erdogan government and the country’s course, including those who voted for him, is too much to be underestimated. We can also understand this from the alliance he had formed with the president of the Nationalist Movement Party, DevletBahçeli, which had criticized him repeatedly in the past.The AK Party, chaired by Erdogan, is no longer a party that will win the elections alone.

But it should also be noted that AK Party is a lucky party. Because, CHP (Republican People’s Party), which has been acting as the main opposition party for years, is not a party that can take over the majority of the people because of its constant chaos, wrong choices and attitudes. You may not be able to see another major opposition party, which draws an amateur image like CHP, in any country of Europe.

As a matter of fact, many secret meetings have been organized with many people who want to be in charge of the country’s government after Erdogan. I want to write the names of the different profiles that could play the first chair in the leadership of Turkey after Erdogan.

The only one who can win elections against Erdogan

Meral Akşener, who was elected to the parliament for the first time in 1995, while President Erdogan was the mayor of Istanbul, and served as the first female Minister of Internal Affairs in Turkish history after a year, is a respected name for her political experience by many people today.

In 2001, Akşener, who took part in the founding stages of the AK Party with two names, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gül, who later served as the Prime Minister and the President, left the party as a result of disagreements in the establishment of the AK Party, then turned into a very popular political icon in the Nationalist Movement Party, which is one of the most well-established parties of Turkey.

After the failed election results of the Nationalist Movement Party, where she served as a member of parliament and parliamentary deputy speaker for many years, Akşener, who rolled up her sleeves to become the party’s leader, has formed The Good Party against the obstructions of Devlet Bahçeli, who is thought to run the party with a dictatorial approach by many, and her party achieved a successful result in its first year, surpassing the 10% threshold.

I think Meral Akşener is the only name to win the election against President Erdogan, who has been superior to his rivals in every election for years. Meral Akşener is a politician who is at the forefront with her nationalism but keeps it in a very good balance and she’s not a person like French Marine Le Pen, who has rhetoric towards racism and fascism.

In Turkey, the majority of the population position themselves as the center-right wing and both the AK Party and most of the political parties that have been successful in the past are center-right parties. Meral Akşener is a figure who is positioned in the center-right wing, but she is also a strong social democrat leader with strong rhetoric and sympathetic attitude.

I can already say that Meral Akşener will continue her successful political graphics and that one day she will be at the highest level of Turkish politics, although she is subjected to a great deal of pressure from her party and her rise.

He loves Erdogan and the people love him

Suleyman Soylu, who was the president of the Democratic Party, which had an important place in Turkish political history in the past as it elected three presidents and seven prime ministers, became one of the most trusted names of President Erdogan after a few years, even though he did politics in opposition to Erdogan and the AK Party at the time.

Suleyman Soylu, who currently serves as the Minister of Internal Affairs, is one of the most respected names of the nationalist-conservative wing, just like Meral Akşener. Especially in recent years, his successful and determined struggle against the PKK, the terrorist organization that committed numerous murders in Turkey and his being in the forefront of positive developments regarding internal security has gained Suleyman Soylu a very positive sympathy by the Turkish people.

However, the possibility of Minister Soylu taking over the leadership of Turkey does not seem to be much at the moment, because Minister Soylu, who has expressed his loyalty to Erdogan at every opportunity, cannot make such a move when Erdogan is still the President. He even made it clear that he was planning to leave politics after Erdogan on a TV show he attended on CNN. But of course, there is a saying in our country that “A period of 24 hours is a very long time for politics” and we can see that Soylu to make a move for leading Turkey after Erdogan.

Besides, I have to say that apart from Suleyman Soylu, politicians who are currently working at the AK Party will crave for their seats in the AK Party in a possible disintegration process because, people, who have the qualities of leadership to meet the demands of the people like Erdogan, do not take part in the AKP positions.

Perhaps the only hope of the left in Turkey

As I mentioned before, if we look at the dynamics of Turkey, it is a very low possibility that a power with the left understanding rule the country, but MuharremInce, who is backed by the social democratic masses against Erdogan in the presidential election on June 24, 2018, and who has the characteristics of a leader that has been longed for years, is the strongest name on the left that can change this dynamic.

It would not be wrong to say that Ince, who served as a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) since 2002 when AK Party came to power, is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s biggest rival, who has been sitting in the chair of the general presidency for years despite the party’s failed results. Although MuharremInce, who has been competing against Kılıçdaroğlu at every CHP congress in recent times, has not yet achieved this goal, but he is the is the most important name forcing Kılıçdaroğlu to resign and it will be a development that we can see very soon.

MuharremInce, who has already declared that he will be a candidate for the presidency in the elections after five years, has carried out a successful work in the elections a few months ago. Despite the intense love of those who voted for him, he got 30% and fell below Erdogan’s 52% electoral success.

To become the leader of Turkey, Ince has to step up on this rate and gain the sympathy of the right wing in Turkey. This is difficult, but with its political attitude and populist style, Ince can achieve it.

Turkish people may need the experience and knowledge of their former prime minister

Ahmet Davutoglu, who was one of the most important figures of the AK Party until a few years ago and who was both the president of AK Party, and the Prime Minister of Turkey between 2014 and 2016, is a name with a reputation in AK Party although he had to resign as a result of a ridiculous statement published by several media oligarchs in Turkey.

It would not be wrong to say that Davutoglu, who has not met with Erdogan in any way lately, has withdrawn into his shell because he is not as active in political developments as he used to be. I think that Davutoglu, who is said to be founding a strong political party against Erdogan from time to time, should carry out an active and correct opposition policy against Erdogan in order to become Turkey’s leader after Erdogan because, so to speak, it is not possible for the people to sympathize with the return of a name that is scratched and forced to withdraw to his shell by Erdogan to active politics after Erdogan.

However, Davutoglu, who is touted as Ahmet Hodja in the conservative sector, is one of the most experienced politicians in the country and is always a name that is likely to be re-elected to the top seat. One of Davutoglu’s greatest advantages will be the support given to him by some of the prominent figures who have successfully taken part in Turkish politics.

There are other alternatives as well

As we often see in Turkish political history, a name that is not known very much, may show up suddenly and become the leader of the country. So even though I can guess a few names, we should not forget that it may not be possible.

For example, Cihangir Islam, who is preparing to succeed the wise leader of Felicity Party that once came to power, Temel Karamollaoğlu, is a new hope of the highly conservative group in Turkey, even if he is far from his former power. Islam, who maintained his medical success in parliament and made a good opposition, will be one of the most remarkable figures of the parliament until the next general elections scheduled to take place in 2023.At the same time, he is a politician with a vision that can move Felicity Party and its masses, which is declared as reaction istby some people, to a lot of innovations and to get votes from the voters who are opposed to him.

If the wave of young leadership spreads to Turkey as it did with Macron in France, with Kurzin Austria, with Trudeau in Canada and with Tsipras in Greece, Faik Tunay, who became a CHP deputy at a young age, is also a name that can play first chair even though he is of central right origin. Tunay’s strong international connections and his ability to speak many important languages will be a great advantage for him and for his leadership of Turkey. Although Tunay has not been seen much in the political arena lately, it is quite likely that he will progress in the right direction at the right time, using his young age’s advantage.

Of course, even if they haven’t been involved in politics until now, the successful names of the business world can step in this direction in a possible conjuncture. Ali Koç, who is the member of the country’s richest and most respected family, is the first to come to mind in this direction although he is dealing with the very unsuccessful outcomes of the football club he is currently president of. Although he has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to enter politics, he is a businessman who can be accepted by the public with his charisma and success. In the past, we have witnessed ultra-rich names such as Cem Uzan and Cem Boyner enter into politics and fail. Ali Koç, on the contrary, can be an example of success.

In conclusion, I should say that the emergence of a successful name from the business world to the leadership of Turkey will not produce as negative results as in the case of Trump, the first example in the world that comes to mind. At least in the international perspective…

Emir Eksioglu, is a journalist and an entrepreneur. Previously, he published articles in important institutions such as Times of Israel, Huff Post, U.S. News, GQ, Tehran Times, Cumhuriyet and was introduced as the youngest media boss thanks to some of his investments in Turkey. His articles have been translated into numerous languages despite his young age. He has many initiatives in technology and media fields.

Continue Reading
Comments

Middle East

Public opinion surveys challenge the image Arab leaders like to project

Avatar photo

Published

on

Several recent public opinion surveys send a mixed message to autocratic reformers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, which hosts this year’s World Cup in less than two months.

The surveys reveal contradictory attitudes among Arab youth towards religion as well as widespread rejection of notions of a moderate Islam and formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

One survey, published this week by Dubai-based public relations agency ASDA’A BCW, revealed that 41 per cent of 3,400 young Arabs in 17 Arab countries aged 18 to 24 said religion was the most important element of their identity, with nationality, family and/or tribe, Arab heritage, and gender lagging far behind. That is 7 per cent more than those surveyed in the agency’s 2021 poll.

More than half of those surveyed, 56 per cent, said their country’s legal system should be based on the Shariah or Islamic law.

Seventy per cent expressed concern about the loss of traditional values and culture. Sixty-five per cent argued that preserving their religious and cultural identity was more important than creating a globalized society.

Yet, paradoxically, 73 per cent felt that religion plays too big a role in the Middle East, while 77 per cent believed that Arab religious institutions should be reformed.

Autocratic Arab reformers will take heart from the discomfort with the role of religion and skepticism towards religious authority that stroked with earlier surveys by ASDA’A BCW, which has conducted the poll annually for the past 14 years.

Even so, the greater emphasis on religion as the core pillar of identity, concern about traditional values and culture, and the call for Islamic law cast a shadow over social reforms introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and President Mohammed bin Zayed in the UAE.

Moreover, the poll results were published as Qatar debates how to deal with potential conduct by World Cup fans that violates Qatari law and mores, such as public intoxication and expressions of affection, pre-marital sex, and sexual diversity.

Qatar has suggested that World Cup fans caught committing minor offences such as public drunkenness would escape prosecution under plans under development by authorities.

While Saudi Arabia’s rupture with religious ultra-conservatism that long was the kingdom’s hallmark was stunning, reforms in the UAE were the most radical in their break with Islamic law that constitutionally constitutes the principal source of the country’s legislation.

Mr. Bin Salman’s reforms severely restricted the authority of the religious police, lifted the kingdom’s ban on women’s driving, enhanced women’s rights and opportunities, loosened gender segregation, and introduced western-style entertainment – all measures that are essentially not controversial in much of the Muslim world but went against the grain of the kingdom’s ultra-conservative segment of the population and clergy.

That could not be said for Mr. Bin Zayed’s equally far-reaching changes that decriminalized sexual relations out of marriage and alcohol consumption for UAE nationals and foreigners and lifted the prohibition on living together for unmarried couples.

Mr. Bin Zayed’s reforms are expected to persuade some fans to base themselves in the UAE during the World Cup and travel for matches to Qatar, which is socially more restrictive.

Even so, the ASDA’A BCW survey suggests that the reforms in the kingdom and the Emirates may not have been embraced as enthusiastically by a significant segment of the youth as the two countries would like public opinion to believe.

Separate surveys by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy showed that 59 per cent of those polled in the UAE, 58 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 74 per cent in Egypt, disagreed with the notion that “we should listen to those among us who are trying to interpret Islam in a more moderate, tolerant, and modern way.”

The youth’s quest for religion and traditionalism strokes with youth attitudes toward democracy and diplomatic relations with Israel.

Autocratic leaders will likely be encouraged by the fact that a whopping 82 per cent of those surveyed by ASDA’s BCW said stability was more important than democracy. At the same time, two-thirds believed democracy would never work in the Middle East.

Three quarters saw China, followed by Turkey and Russia as their allies, as opposed to only 63 per cent pointing to the United States and 12 per cent to Israel. Even so, they viewed the US as having the most influence in the Middle East, but a majority favoured US disengagement.

Yet, the United States and Europe continued to constitute preferred destinations among 45 per cent of those polled seeking to emigrate.

However, despite widespread skepticism towards democracy, leaders will also have noted that 60 per cent expressed concern about the increased role of government in their lives.

The establishment two years ago of diplomatic relations with Israel by four countries included in the ASDA’A BCW survey — the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, — and the fact that Saudi Arabia has become more public about its relations with the Jewish state and its desire to establish diplomatic ties once a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is found is likely to have shaped responses in the surveys.

Aware of public hesitancy, Saudi Arabia, together with the Arab League and the European Union, this week convened a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to explore ways of dusting off the 1982 Saudi-inspired Arab peace plan.

The plan offered Israel recognition and diplomatic relations in exchange for creating a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

For his part, Yair Lapid expressed support for a two-state solution in his address to the assembly. It was the first time Mr. Lapid backed two states since he became prime minister and the first time since 2017 that an Israeli prime minister spoke in favour of Palestinian statehood.

Nevertheless, only 14% of the Egyptians polled in the Washington Institute surveys viewed their country’s 43-year-old peace treaty with Israel and the more recent establishment of diplomatic relations with the Jewish state by the UAE and others as positive.

In contrast to the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, where Israeli business people, tourists, and residents have been welcomed, only 11 per cent of Egyptians surveyed favoured the normalisation of people-to-people relations.

Similarly, 57 per cent of Saudis surveyed by the institute opposed the normalization of the kingdom’s relations with Israel. Still, a higher percentage in the kingdom and the UAE than in Egypt, 42 per cent, agreed that “people who want to have business or sports contacts with Israelis should be allowed to do so.”

To sum it all up, the message is that autocratic reformers appear to be far ahead of significant segments of their populations even if public attitudes may be contradictory.

For now, keeping the lid on freedom of expression and dissent helps them maintain their grip but casts a shadow and a doubt over the image they work so hard to project.

Continue Reading

Middle East

Middle Eastern Geopolitics in The Midst of The Russo-Ukrainian War

Avatar photo

Published

on

Russia’s national interests have been harmed by the West’s efforts to obstruct Eurasia’s integration and provoke conflict. Support from the United States and the European Union for Ukraine’s anti-constitutional coup d’état sparked a societal upheaval and a bloody conflict. Right-wing nationalist ideology is getting more and more popular, Russia is being painted as an enemy in Ukrainian society, the violent resolution of internal problems is being gambled on, and a profound socioeconomic catastrophe is making Ukraine a chronic centre of instability in Europe and along Russia’s border.

US military-biological labs in Russia’s neighbours are being expanded. There are four ways Russia utilizes to keep the world safe: political, legal, diplomatic, and military. To protect national interests, armed force can be employed only after all other options have failed.

NATO has effectively rendered Russia’s Black Sea control worthless in terms of gaining access to warm water. “Irresponsible” would be a better word to describe Ukraine’s attempt to join NATO. Russia’s Eurasian aspirations are jeopardized by Ukraine’s proclivity for self-determination. From Ukraine to Abkhazia, Russia seeks to control the northern Black Sea coast and to turn it under its sovereignty. For Russia, it is necessary to remove Western influence from this region and Russia’s immediate surroundings. However, it is impossible for Ukraine to remain “neutral” because of its geopolitical and ethnic realities.

Russia’s geopolitical security is threatened by Ukraine’s borders and sovereign orientations, which are equivalent to invading Russia’s land. Eastern Ukraine (east of the Dnieper River to the Sea of Azov) is inhabited by Great Russians and Orthodox Little Russians, whereas the rest of the country is controlled by Ukrainians. Anti-Russian sentiment runs deep in Crimea, a region with a wide range of nationalities (such as the Tatars). Crimea is under Moscow’s authority for strategic reasons. From Chernigov to Odessa, an area has cultural ties to Eastern Ukraine and a place in the Eurasian geopolitical context.

The Eurasian core (Russia) and the European core (Germany) should work together to complete the long-term disengagement between Europe and the United States by forming a Eurasian continental military complex.

Russian intervention in Ukraine is urgent in order to avert an attack by NATO. The foregoing suggests that Russia’s policy of severing all ties with Western security systems in the vital territory directly adjacent to Russia is being carried out in Ukraine. The only way to achieve this aim peacefully is to use force.

There are two main actors engaged in this conflict; the Russian Federation (the official heir to the USSR) and the United States, which is slipping in several soft and hard power indicators. Paul Kennedy saw imperial overstretch as a precursor to strategic decline for the United States, while Richard Barnet predicted decline for the United States in the 1980s. Flora Lewis’ research, published a year after Paul Kennedy’s, confirmed the fall of the United States. It was prophesied by James Schlesinger that the United States will lose both its economic and military power. Peter Passell and Tom Wicker argued that the United States has lost its economic and scientific leadership to Japan because of its dependence on foreign sources of raw resources and energy.

According to Niall Ferguson’s 2004 study on US diclinism, the United States wants to expand free markets, the rule of law, and representative government around the world, but it is unwilling to make the long-term investments in human capital and financial resources necessary to end conflict resulting from state inefficiency. When it comes to internal weaknesses like financial deficits and people power, as well as ignoring global responsibilities, he thinks that the United States is a failing empire that refuses to accept its own demise. “Terrorist” groups and organized crime gangs will fill the void, he predicts. Ferguson sees this as a strong endorsement of the US-China-European partnership.

Biden should not threaten China and should treat Russia as a serious power in Eurasia, as argued by one of the most anti-EU thinkers in the United States, Francis Ferguson, Jr. An analysis conducted by the US National Intelligence Council in 2008 predicted that the international system would become more multipolar due to the emergence of new major powers, the continuation of economic globalization, the transfer of wealth from the West to the East, and the expansion of sub-state and supra-state entities.

According to the report, by 2025, there would be less disparities between regions and governments in the international system. In order to avoid further collapse in Russia’s interior and to enlarge Russia’s critical space, each empire looks to exploit geostrategic territories. NATO’s laxity has made it easier for the other empire (the United States) to halt its collapse and strengthen relations with Europe.

All of the foregoing has an impact on the Middle East, particularly on the Arab region. The Middle East is no longer a priority for US policy, according to President Joe Biden’s strategic plan. Some countries in the region have attempted to compensate for the loss of the United States by forging ties with Israel to counter internal opposition and strengthen the anti-Iran coalition.

It is possible that the Ukraine issue could divert American attention away from the Middle East in the next months, which could have an impact on Arab relations with Israel, Iran and Turkey. Because of the lack of response from the Middle East in response to US demands about the Ukrainian issue (blockade of Russia, military support for Ukraine, increased gas and oil production, etc.), there has been a “relative” shift in the region’s position in US strategy.

Currently, there are many thorny issues in the Middle East, including: Russia’s policy in the Arab region is hampered by its inability to overcome regional power imbalances. Russian, Iranian and Israeli differences. Reconciling Iran with Gulf States and a number of Arab nations. Reconciling the security needs of Israel and Syria. Israeli demands vs. Russian pledges on Palestinian rights.

The trade volume differential between Russia and the Arab region just adds to the complexity of these political issues already in existence. Over the previous three years, Russian trade with the Arab world has averaged $18 billion each year. One group of Arab countries imports Russian civilian goods, such as wheat and iron, whereas the other group imports Russian military equipment. Russia exports civilian goods to Egypt, Morocco, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, and Qatar. After Syria, Algeria (81 percent), Iraq (44 percent), Egypt (41%), and the United Arab Emirates (5.3%), Russian arms sales to Arab countries account for 21 percent of Russia’s overall sales, or $5 billion yearly, making them the top five countries acquiring Russian weaponry.

It’s not uncommon for relations between Arab countries that acquire Russian civilian items and those that import Russian military hardware to be strained. In the near future (within the next five years), when Russia’s global economic embargo will cover more civilian items than military ones, it will be difficult for Russia to limit the influence of Arab disputes on its relations with all Arab countries.

Due to its military-to-civilian trade imbalance, Russia may have to reassess its regional priorities. Relations between the Arab world and Russia could take a dramatic turn in the near future. Russia’s trade with Israel ($3.5 billion) and Iran ($777 million) is impossible to compare. Even in light of the boycott, Russia’s relations with Iran and Israel will be problematic.

Continue Reading

Middle East

Creating Building Blocks for Cooperative Security in the Middle East

Avatar photo

Published

on

Fading hopes for a revival of the 2015 international agreement that curbed Iran’s nuclear program potentially puts one more nail in the coffin of a regional security architecture that would include rather than target the Islamic republic.

The potential demise of the nuclear agreement, coupled with America redefining its commitment to Middle Eastern security as it concentrates on rivalry with Russia and China, spotlights the need for a regional security forum that would facilitate confidence-building measures, including common approaches to transnational threats such as climate change, food security, maritime security, migration, and public health.

Mitigating in favour of a firmer grounding of the reduction of regional tension is the fact that it is driven not only by economic factors such as the economic transition in the Gulf and the economic crisis in Turkey, Iran, and Egypt but also by big-power geopolitics.

China and Russia have spelled out that they would entertain the possibility of greater engagement in regional security if Middle Eastern players take greater responsibility for managing regional conflicts, reducing tensions, and their own defense.

Rhetoric aside, that is not different from what the United States, the provider of the Middle East’s security umbrella, is looking for in its attempts to rejigger its commitment to security in the Gulf.

In addition to the emerging, albeit tentative, unspoken, macro-level big power consensus on a more inclusive, multilateral approach, efforts by the major regional powers – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Israel, and Iran, except for as it regards ties between the Jewish state and the Islamic republics — to reduce tensions and put relations on a more even keel, contribute to an environment potentially conducive to discussion of a more broad-based security architecture.

The need to focus on conflict prevention and improved communication between regional rivals alongside more robust defense cooperation is evident irrespective of whether the Iran nuclear accord is brought back from the dead, given that the covert war between Israel and Iran will continue no matter what happens.

Israeli officials this month warned that an Israel airstrike against Syria’s Aleppo airport was a warning to President Bashar al-Assad that his country’s air transport infrastructure would be at risk if he continues to allow “planes whose purpose is to encourage terrorism to land,” a reference to flights operated on behalf of the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards.

Even so, the Biden administration remains focused on broadening responsibility for a regional security architecture that targets Iran rather than an inclusive structure that would give all parties a stake, seek to address root problems, and stymie an evolving arms race.

The administration has encouraged security cooperation between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the two Arab states that two years ago established diplomatic relations with Israel, and Saudi Arabia, which has changed its long-standing hostile attitudes towards the Jewish state but refuses to formalise relations in the absence of a resolution of the Palestinian problem.

The year’s move of Israel from the US military’s European to its Central Command (CENTCOM) that covers the Middle East facilitates coordination between regional militaries. In a first, Israel this year participated in a US-led naval exercise alongside Saudi Arabia, Oman, Comoros, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan, countries with which it has no diplomatic relations, as well as the UAE and Bahrain.

In March, top military officers from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt met in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss the contours of potential military cooperation.

Similarly, the US, the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are attempting to create a regional air defense alliance. In June, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed the partnership had already thwarted Iranian attacks.

Similarly, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are working on a fleet of naval drones to monitor Gulf waters and ward off Iranian threats.

Furthermore, CENTCOM plans to open a testing facility in Saudi Arabia to develop and assess integrated air and missile defense capabilities.

Scholar Dalia Dassa Kaye argues that focusing on confidence-building aspects of cooperative security involving a dialogue that aims to find common ground to prevent or mitigate conflict rather than collective security that seeks to counter a specific threat is one way of breaking the Middle East’s vicious circle.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) patchwork of security structures, alliances between external powers and individual association members, and inclusive regional forums demonstrate that the two security approaches are not mutually exclusive.

The ASEAN model also suggests that, at least initially, a less centralized and institutionalized approach may be the best way to kickstart moves towards regional cooperative security in the Middle East.

Negotiating an agreement on principles guiding regional conduct on the back of exchanges between scholars, experts, and analysts, as well as informal, unofficial encounters of officials, could be a first step.

To be sure, Iran’s refusal to recognize Israel and its perceived goal of destroying the Jewish state likely constitutes the foremost obstacle to initiating an inclusive, cooperative security process.

The carrot for Iran will have to be credible assurances that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel will not pursue regime change in Tehran and recognize that Iran’s security concerns are as legitimate as those of others in the region. However, even that could prove to be a tall order, particularly if the negotiations to revive the nuclear accord fail.

Nevertheless, that may be the only realistic way of putting Iran’s support for militants in various Arab countries, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shiite militia, various pro-Iranian paramilitary groups in Iraq, and Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as the Islamic republic’s ballistic missiles program – the two major concerns of Israel and the Gulf states — on an agenda to which Iran is a participating party.

Ms. Kaye argues that “despite these serious obstacles, it is important to present a vision and pathway for an inclusive, cooperative process when a political opening emerges, or when a crisis erupts of such severe magnitude that even bitter adversaries may consider options that were previously unthinkable.”

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Reports1 hour ago

Trade in 25 Technologies Can Help Climate Action

Based on 30 interviews with industry and academia, the Accelerating Decarbonization through Trade in Climate Goods and Services report highlights...

Southeast Asia3 hours ago

Muslim piety in Southeast Asia mirrors increased religious traditionalism in the Middle East

In a mirror image of recent polling in the Middle East, a just-published survey of Muslims in Southeast Asia suggests...

Finance5 hours ago

Liberia: Prospects for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

The World Bank today launched the third edition of the annual Liberia Economic Update with the theme: “Investing in Human...

Reports6 hours ago

East Asia and Pacific Sustaining Growth, Restraining Inflation, but Facing Risks Ahead

Growth in most of developing East Asia and the Pacific rebounded in 2022 from the effects of COVID-19, while China...

Tech News8 hours ago

Crypto Sustainability Coalition to Investigate Potential of Web3 Technologies in Fighting Climate Change

The World Economic Forum launched the Crypto Sustainability Coalition, which will investigate how web3 and blockchain tools can be leveraged...

South Asia9 hours ago

World ‘must engage’ or risk Afghanistan’s collapse

“Patience is running out” for many in the international community when it comes to effectively engaging with Afghanistan’s de facto...

World News11 hours ago

Iran: UN condemns violent crackdown against hijab protests

Authorities in Iran must fully respect the rights of protestors calling for justice for Mahsa Amini, the young woman who...

Trending