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Erdogan, and Jordan’s real needs

Aug 27,2017 - Last updated at Aug 27,2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Jordan came at a time when Jordan should ensure that it does not drift from its strategic alliances with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

In Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood is back on the political scene while the Kingdom’s allies have listed the organisation as a terrorist group. 

Any perceived support or even lack of opposition to the Brotherhood could send a negative message to Arab countries and be perceived as edging closer to the Turkish government.

Turkey’s strategic regional position currently faces several major challenges. One is the developments in Syria, where the US is positioning even closer to the Kurds who demand an autonomous state.

Losing position in Syria is one thing, but potential Kurdish independence is a clear territorial threat to Turkey.

In addition, Erdogan’s major allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are being targeted by the Arab countries, which increasingly isolates Turkey politically, especially as it supports Qatar.

Erdogan is clearly seeking engagement with Jordan to counter the isolation from the rest of the Arab countries.

For Jordan, this may be breaking the ice in a traditionally lacklustre relationship with Turkey, but caution should be exercised not to send the wrong message to the Arab allies.

Jordan needs to diversify its options, open channels of communication and engage with all key players in the region, including Turkey.

It can leverage its strategic position in the region, but it must formulate a clear strategy that outlines what it wants to achieve and where it wants to position itself.

Jordan should avoid being isolated politically, so a clear exit strategy from the current political situation is required.

It will be challenging to rebuild ties with Syria and Iraq, but that is the key, given the shared borders.

The deterioration of relations with Israel is also a serious challenge that must be addressed, as is the relationship with Saudi Arabia.

With all the challenges that Jordan faces, what is needed is a new, progressive vision that includes serious changes.

 

Jordan needs a new direction and for that it needs different minds in the political system; new policies require new faces.

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