Former Lebanese PM: Turkey's multiple foreign policy axes are beneficial for the west
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, dismissing claims that Turkey has recently been changing its foreign policy towards the East, yesterday argued that Turkey's having multiple foreign policy axes is beneficial for the West. In an interview in his Beirut office, Siniora, currently the head of the Future Bloc in the Lebanese Parliament, said that Turkey is not leaving the path of the West. "Turkey isn't doing that," he said. "Turkey has multiple axes, in the Arab world moving East and South, and toward Russia, and also toward the Turkic communities and countries. And this is in the interest of the Western world." He added that it is very important for Turkey to improve its resources to be able to use its ability to negotiate and be firm. "There is a saying, 'If you want to be included, you need to stand up'," he said, stressing Turkey's outspokenness on many foreign policy issues, especially the plight of the Palestinians. Siniora added that Turkey should continue to play a role in the Arab-Israeli conflict despite a cooling of its relations with Israel after a series of diplomatic crises. "As Syrian President Bashar Assad said, we don't want Turkey to destroy its relations with Israel, because we need its mediation," explained Siniora. "I completely agree with that. Turkey should definitely continue to play its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and use its influence on Israel for a solution." When it comes to relations with Iran, Siniora said Turkey's role is critical in restricting Iran's "aggressive attitude." He said Arabs welcome Turkey's rising influence in the region and that it's not about choosing Turkey over Iran. "We're trying to build a good relationship with Turkey, as much as you want to build relationships with Iran, but on the basis of mutual respect and working together, expanding economic relations and cooperation," he said.