Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greek considerations & Obama’s Turkey trip

Greek American News Agency

By Ioannis Michaletos*
The developments that occurred over the past few weeks and after the end of the Gaza war, have showed to an extent that Turkey acquires a louder voice in the Middle Eastern affairs by promoting itself as the main Muslim power and in parallel trying to combine that with its ability of assisting the US withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The forthcoming Obama voyage to Turkey will mostly center on the Iraq issue and more specifically how Ankara could assist in securing an exodus for the American Army via its ports and airfields. In that sense it is quite natural for the Greek policy makers to fear that Turkey's role will be highly elevated and that may have deteriorating effects for the relations of the two states.

In reality all the aforementioned considerations are not valid in any sense since the Americans do not need Turkish assistance to secure their withdrawal from Iraq. They can perfectly use the Basra port or the highway connecting the country with Jordan. Turkey could just ease American retreat but just that. The real stake of Obama's trip could not be other than the all timely issue of Kurdish insurgence and the real possibility of the declaration of independence by the Kurds of Northern Iraq.

According to all current information, Washington will move a substantial part of its Iraqi forces into secure areas in Northern Iraq and in that sense it will not leave the country. As it can be understood that will elevate the role of the Kurds in the Middle East as the sole ethnic group that secures American presence in a period where Washington is under a serious negotiation process with powers such as Iran, Syria and in a wider extent with the whole Muslim world.
*Ioannis Michaletos is an independent Strategic Analyst. He was born in 1978 in Athens- Greece and pursued studies in the UK in the fields of Political Science and Human Resource Management. He is occupied as a South Eastern European Analyst of the Research Institute on European & American Studies, RIEAS, and as a South Eastern European Editor in the World Security Network Foundation, WSNF. Moreover he regularly publishes articles in

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