Drilling at Gunpoint: EU Sanctions on Turkey (Valdai Discussion Club)

The January meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council focused, in part, on Turkey’s oil and gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors (RELEX) is about to complete its package of sanctions against Turkey. It is compiling a list of individuals and companies on which restrictions will be imposed.

https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/drilling-at-gunpoint-eu-sanctions-on-turkey/

Yulia Timofeeva

Escalating to Deescalate? Why Turkey Is Targeting Syria’s Army (World Politics Review)

For the first time in Syria’s nine-year war, the Turkish military this week launched direct attacks on the Syrian army. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he ordered howitzers and F-16 fighter jets to hit President Bashar al-Assad’s forces near the Turkish border in response to the killing of eight Turkish soldiers in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28516/in-the-battle-for-idlib-in-syria-turkey-strikes-assad-s-forces-for-the-first-time

Aron Lund is a fellow with The Century Foundation. In 2018–2020, his work on Syria is supported by a research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

EU-Turkey Cooperation over Migration (SWP)

Despite its recent threats, Ankara is signalling interest in cooperating on migration governance. In the likely continuation of the Statement, the EU should link the implementation of the Statement to issues of rule of law. An Assessment by Sinem Adar

https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/publication/eu-turkey-cooperation-over-migration/

The “Democratic Bloc” of the Eastern Med Cements Its Friendship (BESA Center)

2020 is expected to be another year of fruitful cooperation for Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, which are working together to counter rising instability caused by Turkey. Their recent agreement to commit to the construction of the EastMed pipeline opens a new chapter in a friendship they have worked on for over a decade. They are taking steps to obtain American support for the trilateral scheme despite Washington’s concerns about its potential impact on the US’s long-term partnership with Ankara. Notably, the recent killing by the US of Quds commander Qassem Soleimani found Greece standing by its allies, the US and Israel, though that position risks undermining its relations with Iran.   

https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/democratic-bloc-eastern-med/

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Photo-Ops Notwithstanding, Iran Faces the US Alone (BESA Center)

Iran is now assessing whether it should retaliate further against the US for the targeting of Qassem Soleimani, and if so, how. Its relationships with Russia and Turkey might look warm, but they are troubled. Neither is likely to leap to Tehran’s side in its clash with the US. Israel should exploit Iran’s fissures with Russia and Turkey to its advantage.

https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/iran-faces-us-alone/

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