U.S. Secretary of Defense in Turkey, meeting on ISIL
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, met Monday with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, to gauge Turkey’s willingness to participate in an American-led coalition against the militant group ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. (Reuters) The Obama administration on Monday began the work of trying to determine exactly what roles the members of its fledgling coalition of countries to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will play, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel huddled with the leaders of the one country the administration has called “absolutely indispensable” to the fight: Turkey. More coverage from the New York Times here.
Secretary Kerry and FM Davutoglu had a phone conversation over the weekend
Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed that Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on June 15. Although the call was focued on Syria, the ongoing protests in Turkey were also discussed. Psaki said “we remain focused on calling on all parties to ease tensions and to resolve the situation through dialogue, taking into account views from across the political spectrum. We also continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence.” Read below the full excerpt:
Obama’s Best Friend? The Alarming Evolution of U.S.-Turkish Relations
By: Dr. Ariel Cohen / Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Dr. Ariel Cohen penned the 100th report of Begin-Sadat Center’s Middle East Security and Policy Studies. Cohen is a senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Katherine and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Below is the executive summary of the report, which you can access in full here.
By: Soner Cagaptay / Foreign Affairs For all the talk of Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbors,” no amount of soft power has been able to protect the country from the protracted civil war in Syria. Now over two years old, that conflict has laid bare Ankara’s inability to match Tehran’s influence in the region — or even to secure itself against violence as the conflict has spilled over its borders. After years of trying to go it alone in the Middle East, Turkey’s leaders and public must face the fact that their country needs the United States and NATO for security and stability.
The stakes of U.S. prosperity, LNG trade
By: Neil Brown and Marik String / Politico It is a rare opportunity that isolates Iran, undermines Russian energy dominance and broadly benefits the U.S. economy. But those are the stakes for Americannei prosperity as the Obama administration contemplates whether to allow the trade of natural gas with our closest allies. Whereas oil is freely traded on global markets, natural gas has traditionally been a regional commodity locked in pipelines, creating wide price disparities among global markets and making diplomatic relations with (and proximity to) suppliers fundamental. In Europe, for example, certain allies of Russia pay as little as half as much as other neighbors, which actually lie closer. Still a relatively small part of global trade, liquefied natural gas , on the other hand, affords gas-importing nations access to diverse and flexible global supplies.