Er­do­gan shows ma­tu­rity and states­man­ship

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

TURK­ISH Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan ten­dered an apol­ogy to Vladimir Putin over Ankara’s down­ing of a Rus­sian mil­i­tary jet last year and also con­doled with the fam­ily of the pi­lot who lost his life in the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent. This as well as his coun­try’s re­cent deal with Is­rael to nor­mal­ize hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in Gaza clearly in­di­cates Er­do­gan’s mind­set to re­move the for­eign pol­icy ir­ri­tants and fo­cus en­tirely on ad­dress­ing some of the press­ing in­ter­nal is­sues.

In fact Er­do­gan has emerged as a tow­er­ing Mus­lim leader and a true states­man as he has not only eco­nom­i­cally trans­formed his coun­try but is also tak­ing ac­tive in­ter­est to pro­mote unity amongst the Mus­lim Ummah which over the years has only saw blood­shed and vi­o­lence. The apol­ogy to the Rus­sians is be­ing seen as a pos­i­tive step on the part of Er­do­gan to re­vive the re­la­tions se­ri­ously strained due to the down­ing of the Rus­sian plane by Ankara near the Syr­ian bor­der last Novem­ber. In fact it also is the de­mand of the diplomacy that nor­mal, rather am­i­ca­ble, re­la­tions are main­tained with other coun­tries es­pe­cially those, which mat­ters the most. If we take stock of the Rus­sia-Turkey re­la­tions, it comes out that both are the ma­jor trad­ing part­ners and re­cent tus­sle in diplo­matic re­la­tions has had a bad im­pact on their economies. Turkey ac­counts for around a quar­ter of Rus­sia’s total food im­ports and Turkey is Rus­sia’s sec­ond most im­por­tant trad­ing part­ner af­ter Ger­many. Rus­sia’s largest cus­tomers are the Turks when it comes to en­ergy. In this back­drop, we be­lieve it was wise of Er­do­gan to ap­proach the Rus­sians to re­build the re­la­tions and fo­cus on pro­tect­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic in­ter­ests. In ad­di­tion, be­ing the most im­por­tant coun­tries, it is also not in the in­ter­est of world com­mu­nity that strain in Moscow-Ankara re­la­tions lingers on as this will not con­trib­ute to ad­dress­ing re­gional is­sues like that of Syria but add fur­ther com­plex­i­ties to it. We ex­pect that both Rus­sia and Turkey will move for­ward in a pos­i­tive man­ner and turn a new page in re­la­tion­ship for their mu­tual ben­e­fit.


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