One of the most prominent US statesmen and scholar, Henry Kissinger, has said Turkey can play a significant role in the region at a time of shifting circumstances but also warned the newly emerging nation not to cross American vital interests in the region.
“Turkey will fill part of a regional void left by the US as it withdraws from Iraq and, eventually, Afghanistan,” Kissenger was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying during a conference in İstanbul on Thursday. However, he added that Ankara should be careful not to cross Washington’s vital interests in the region.
“Turkey’s influence is growing at a time that the US is withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, plus Libya is opening up – so Turkey can play a significant role,” Kissinger said. “It shouldn’t run across interests that the US considers imperative. I expect relations will be constructive.”
Speaking about NATO’s early warning radar system which Turkey agreed to host, Kissinger said he sees this as an expression of the fact that on some issues the US and Turkey have parallel interests.
Kissinger, assessing the rift between Turkey and Israel over flotilla deaths, said both sides were at fault in their dispute over whether Israel should apologize for flotilla incident.
“Both sides will have to make an adjustment in terms of their position – this is not just a problem of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. People know what the problem is, they know what the solution is, but they can’t bring themselves to do it,” Kissinger said, according to the report.
12 October 2011, Wednesday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,