Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 22 December 2016, 03:55 hrs, UTC, Post #58.
Accessed on 22 December 2016, 03:55 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Marc Lowen (BBC).
Please click link to read the full story.
Nearly 400 years of Russo-Turkish conflict may be coming to an end, thanks to the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at an Ankara photo exhibit. The shocking murder, captured live in photos and smartphone video, shocked not only Russia and Turkey, but other nations as well. Karlov was a popular figure in diplomatic circles and was trying to improve Turkish-Russian diplomatic relations over Syria when a lone gunman shot Karlov point blank at the exhibition.
“Russia and Turkey have been profoundly shaken by the murder of a seasoned diplomat who colleagues describe as softly-spoken and professional.
And yet it has not prompted a new crisis in bilateral relations as some feared.
Instead, Presidents Erdogan and Putin have used the same language, calling it “a provocation” aimed at derailing ties and vowing that it would not succeed.
In fact it could, conversely, bring together Russia and Turkey against the common enemy of terror, encouraging greater co-operation between two countries that have always had a tricky relationship.”
BBC reporter Marc Lowen says “the fundamental fact holding these two forces together is that, lacking many friends in the world at the moment, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogen need each other.”
Perhaps this tragedy will improve diplomatic relations between these two historic adversaries. That could be good thing, since both nations have been hit hard by terrorist attacks over the past few years. An agreement between Putin and Erdogen could help legitimize deeper Russian involvement in any Syrian peace plan put forward by either Russia or Turkey. Of course, such an agreement may not play well in Turkey, where many have protested against Russian support of Syrian President Assad. Thanks to Russian air support, Syrian Army forces have largely surrounded the key city of Aleppo and have forced remaining rebel forces into small enclaves. With a Syrian victory, Russia will strengthen its military foothold in Syria and will be a key player in any resolution of the Syrian Civil War. As the United States gradually pulls back from the region, Russia, Turkey, and Iran will be the major power brokers in the area.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest