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memri
February 24, 2009 No.
2065

Editorial in Saudi Daily Attacks the U.S. Administration, Supports the Gulf-Turkey Strategic Alliance To Counter the Iranian Threat

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers and Turkish Foreign Minister 'Ali Babacan during a September 2, 2008 summit in the Saudi city of Jedda,[1] the Saudi daily Al-Watan published an editorial setting out the grounds for the recent rapprochement between the Gulf states and Turkey. The editorial claimed that in light of Iran's increasing power and threats, the Gulf states have turned to Turkey as a new strategic ally and counterbalance to Iran.

The following are excerpts from the editorial:

Iran's Arrogant Stance Stems from "The Foolish American Policy"

"In light of Iran's recent threats against the security of the Gulf states, and its [warnings about] the impending disasters, perdition, and [other] terrible calamities that will befall the Arab Gulf states, whose policy is characterized by moderation and conciliation, it was inevitable that these countries should seek a strategic ally to counterbalance Iran's rising power. [This] was inevitable, since Teheran has been using increasingly aggressive and extremist language in its political discourse, arming itself, and provoking the world in its attempt to obtain a nuclear bomb.

"The new strategic situation, which has brought Iran to this arrogant stance, stemmed from the foolish American policy, which eliminated Iraq from the strategic regional power equation, and turned it into a torn country, beset by bitter conflict, and – at the very least – into a pro-Iranian state. Teheran has even [gone so far as to] threaten Washington with an attack on the allies of the American forces in Iraq!"

America's Lack of [Any] Strategic Vision or Long-Term Political Foresight Precluded the GCC Countries from Relying Exclusively on Their American Partner

"In light of America's obvious indecisiveness, which indicates a lack of [any] strategic vision or long-term political foresight, the GCC countries were precluded from relying exclusively on their American partner, [especially since] its shame has been exposed, and its policy is a disaster for the security and stability of the region. Accordingly, the Gulf states sought to establish a balance of power with the help of [other] political forces in the region.

"Turkey is a strong, economically prosperous Middle Eastern country… that has no imperialistic aspirations or [ambitions] to spread any political or religious ideology. It presently constitutes an ideal partner, especially since it is ruled by the Justice and Development Party, which respects Turkey's Islamic tradition and its ties with the Arab countries."

"Turkey Is a Country that Can Be Depended Upon"

"Considering Turkey's domestic stability and its aspiration to play an active political role in the region – as manifested by its mediation in the negotiations between Israel and Syria – and considering its exemplary relations with its neighbors and its balanced relations with the West, Turkey can be regarded as a country pursuing a responsible policy. It is a country that can be depended upon, especially since it is one of the [most] influential powers in the region, and a member of [both] the Organization of the Islamic Conference and NATO.

"However, the cooperation and alliance with Turkey should not keep the countries of the region from strengthening themselves by enhancing their military abilities, [forming] mutual defense mechanisms and preserving the national achievements [of each country] by reinforcing and improving its domestic situation. The countries of the region should also strengthen the mechanisms of cooperation with the GCC countries… [In addition, they should] improve their ties with their neighbor Yemen, which provides strategic depth for the Gulf region – especially now that [this country] has proven its ability to withstand foreign intervention and to maintain its internal security and stability, as well as its commitment to the security of the region."[2]

Endnotes:
[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), September 3, 2008.
[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), September 4, 2008.