Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 26
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
It seems that the Arab countries have decided to break a stereotype, which existed for several centuries about the fact that “the Arabs agreed never to unite.”
The foreign ministers of the League of Arab States on Dec.24 held an emergency meeting to discuss the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said that presence of Turkish troops, inconsistent with the Iraqi authorities, violates international law and the sovereignty of Iraq.
Turkey, in turn, said that the tank battalion of the Turkish army is currently stationed in Iraq’s Nineveh province to train militia there for fighting the IS terrorist group (aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh).
Earlier, Minister of National Defense of Turkey Ismet Yilmaz said that the Turkish army won’t withdraw from Iraq. Yilmaz said that Turkey and Iraq have resolved the differences the two countries had over the presence of the Turkish army in the country.
Against the background of the statements of heads of Arab countries and Turkey, a question arises: if Turkey trains military forces in Iraq to fight the IS, why Arab countries are against the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq? Is the IS not the common enemy of the Arab countries?
Arab countries strongly opposed the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq for several reasons.
First reason is the danger of split in Iraq, especially since the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq led by Massoud Barzani, who is an ally of Turkey, has recently declared its readiness to hold a referendum on independence.
There is no doubt that in case of holding the referendum, the Kurdish autonomy will become independent. Earlier, the Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated that the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq is vital for Turkey.
The Arab countries realize that if the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq gains independence, this can lead to a domino effect. Moreover, the southern part of the country became independent earlier as a result of the referendum, held in Sudan in 2011.
Turkey's ambitions in the region are the second important moment for the Arab countries.
Ankara began actively conducting the policy of rapprochement with the Arab countries after the Justice and Development Party came to power in Turkey in 2002.
Turkey has begun openly claiming to be the most democratic country in the Arab Muslim world as a result of the lack of normal political and democratic atmosphere in Arab countries. The Turkish authorities did not hide their ambitions to "export" the Turkish democracy to a number of neighboring Arab countries, even to Egypt. Of course, this is not in the interest of the presidents of the Arab countries.
That is, strengthening of Turkey’s role is unprofitable to any Arab country, except for Ankara. The Turkish officials do not hide this.
Earlier, the Turkish president has repeatedly stated that there are forces in the world that do not want to see strong Turkey in the region.
But no matter how furiously the Arab countries oppose the presence of the Turkish army in Iraq, Turkey is unlikely to withdraw its military units from there.
Moreover, Turkey has already called the decision taken by the Arab League as an attempt to turn a blind eye on the main threat to the region – the IS terrorist group.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu
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