Turkey’s Position on the Middle East Crisis and Against Sanctions on Libya

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In the aftermath of the arrest of Raymond Davis, US-Pakistan relations remain tense. According to media reports from India, up to 30 suspected US Turkey criticized imposition of sanctions on Libya by the UN Security Council, stating that it would adversely impact the people of Libya as oppose to Qaddafi’s regime. However, analysts believe its opposition was due to large Turkish investments in Libya, amounting to $15 dollars.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Saturday:

“Sanctions, an intervention, would force the Libyan people, who are already up against hunger and violence, into a more desperate situation. We call on the international community to act with conscience, justice, laws and universal humane values – not out of oil concerns.”

Due to the rising global stature of Turkey and strong position against Israel during Gaza bombings in 2008 and 2009, and aid flotilla incident last year, the view and perspective of Turkey on important international matters are widely reported and noted. Turkey’s position on some key recent events are listed as follows:

  • During the Egyptian crisis, Turkey supported the removal of Hosni Mubarak, while Saudi Arabia strongly spoke in favor of the former Egyptian president.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently called the revolution in Tunisia a model for other countries seeking reform.
  • On Bahrain, Turkey has so far maintained a balance and has not criticized the monarch there.
  • As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Turkey voted against imposing sanctions on Iran last year over its nuclear ambitions.

As a result of the crisis in several Middle Eastern and northern African countries, Pakistan’s relations with the Arab world and Turkey would become a delicate balancing act.

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