Reaffirm strategic partnership
ence in Syria’s Idlib, the planned independence referendum in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) scheduled for Sept. 25, how to meet Turkey’s need to train new F16 pilots to replace those that were removed from military service after the coup attempt will be the top issues on the agenda,” he told Arab News. According to Ahmet K. Han, an international relations professor at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, this visit will not see a drastic transformation in bilateral ties but it has certain important political purposes from the Turkish side. “Turkey now, more than ever, has to maintain a balance in its foreign policy, including its relations with the United States, as its previous ambition to develop an autonomous foreign policy proved to be unsustainable at least at the level aspired to by her decision makers,” Han told Arab News. “Turkey’s intention is to design a renewed multi-dimensional relationship inside the Beltway. Also, internationally, it tries to avoid becoming isolated on the global stage.” For these purposes, Han noted, Ankara now wants to establish bipartisan contacts with key individuals in Washington, including some outside the administration. “Erdogan also aims to develop a separate, preferably a tightly circled one-on-one relationship, with Trump which will allow Turkey to bypass some influential figures within the administration, who the Turkish side sees as categorically acting against Turkish interests and restricting Trump by their foreign policy reflexes,” he said. Experts argue that Turkey will use this month’s UN meeting as an opportunity to raise the issue of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar where about 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence directed at them. Turkey recently extended a helping hand to the region by delivering 1,000 tons of aid for 100,000 families. Erdogan and Trump met earlier on May 16 at the White House and ended with joint commitments to cooperate on counterterrorism efforts. The meeting failed to deliver concrete outcomes concerning the ongoing controversies that continue to divide the two countries. Hopes are pinned on this coming meeting.