The friends of our enemies are our friends

Our enemies' friends are our friends

DAY

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran are currently meeting in Tehran in what could be described as a show of solidarity and military coordination.

Washington claims Iran is preparing to sell drones to Russia to aid in its war against Ukraine, which Tehran dismisses as “baseless”.

This summit appears to be a geopolitical response to President Biden's recent visit to his Middle Eastern allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. A joint statement highlighted their diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Turkey was not on board.

Erdogan is the first NATO leader to meet Putin since the alliance said last month that it saw Russia as the threat “the most important”.

In Syria as in Ukraine

Turkey, an ally of the United States in the Middle East and a member of NATO, is therefore taking part in a “friendly” meeting with two of Washington's main adversaries hoping to get their “green light” for a military offensive in Syria.

Iran and Turkey pledged yesterday to strengthen their bilateral relations. It won't be easy. Tehran and Moscow support the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad while Turkey supports its opponents. 

Iran has warned that any Turkish military action in Syria could destabilize the region.

Erdogan wants to crush the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered terrorist by many countries, including Canada and the United States. It also targets the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), an ally of Washington in Syria against Daesh jihadists.

Turkey intends to expand the “safe zone” it controls in Syria by 30 kilometers deep along its border. Moscow and Tehran oppose it.

A snide analyst told AFP that Turkey wants to carry out a “special operation” in Syria like the one Russia is carrying out in Ukraine.

< p>Speaking of Ukraine, Putin's meeting with Erdogan comes as Russia's blockade of Ukrainian ports threatens the food supply of millions around the world. Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are expected to sign an agreement in the coming days to resume shipping 22 million tonnes of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine through its Black Sea ports.

To complete the muddle

Erdogan on Monday renewed his threat to prevent Sweden and Finland from joining NATO if demands for Turkey's extradition of PKK activists and supporters of Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gulen are not satisfied. The Swedish government is under domestic pressure not to extradite them and give in to Turkish demands.

Ankara accuses Gulen, a refugee in the United States, of having attempted a coup in 2016. What he denies. Turkey has requested his extradition four times, which Washington has refused. Erdogan accepts US refusal without threatening to leave NATO.

The friends of our enemies are our friends