US diplomacy will next week head to Arab capitals, Turkey and Europe, empowered by a doctrine of firm determination as the basis of any deals and accords, as if to declare that the “Make America Great Again” brigade will no longer show leniency to those whom it considers to be threats to American power and strategic interests. The US national security adviser HR McMaster, the most powerful figure in the Trump administration today, will head to Turkey to make explicit the limits of US and Nato patience vis-a-vis president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s adventures in Syria and his partnerships with Russia and Iran there.
Columnist and Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat
The battle of Aleppo has changed the parameters of bargaining between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, forcing the tsar and the sultan into a position where they need each other equally. Erdogan’s about-face took a different turn in the wake of the military developments in Aleppo, which explains why Putin appeared more cautious when receiving Erdogan in St. Petersburg compared to his guest.