Turkey, Iran and Syria are emerging as a new axis to challenge the trio that has traditionally influenced policies in the region.
Recent events and diplomatic activity before and after the Israeli attack on the Gaza “freedom flotilla” have delineated a new powerful regional triangle at the expense of an old Arab one.
The rapprochement between Iran, Turkey and Syria is creating a new regional axis that, for all practical purposes, could replace the diminished Arab triangle of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria and transform the region in the process.
The visits of the Iranian and Syrian presidents to Turkey this week have underlined a new sense of solidarity and cooperation that will be followed with much interest and concern in Western capitals and Israel.
If strengthened, the new trio could break up the US imposed moderate-extremist division of the region and instead introduce a diverse, hard to isolate new axis that is fundamentally opposed to the Israeli occupation and committed to breaking the siege of Gaza.
Each of these Middle East players bring important strategic assets to the table: Iran is an energy rich Gulf power with an important nuclear card in hand; Turkey is an emerging Euro-Asian power with NATO membership; and Syria is an Arab nation with influence in Lebanon, which could as an indispensable partner in the Arab trio, legitimise the new triangle in Arab eyes.
The three countries have maintained an open borde… >>>