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Turkiye: 2022 was year of normalisation with regional countries 

December 8, 2022 at 1:02 pm

Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin in Ankara, Turkey on 24 February 2021 [Raşit Aydoğan/Anadolu Agency]

A Spokesman for the Turkish Presidency has said that the government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to make 2022 a year for normalising relations with regional countries after assessing the situation since mid-2021 as part of the new regional dynamic, Anadolu has reported. Ibrahim Kalin made his comments in a speech at a programme organised yesterday by Başkent University in the capital, Ankara.

He added that Turkiye’s membership of NATO does not prevent it from developing good relations with Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Turkiye, for example, has started to benefit from opening up to African countries, with mutual embassies and increased trade. Kalin emphasised that the country determines its foreign policy according to its strategic priority, and pointed out that developing good relations with Russia does not mean entering into any rivalry with the US.

He also talked about the normalisation of relations between some Gulf countries and Israel in recent years, which has raised many questions. “Since the middle of this year, we have read the general scene differently, and we decided to make 2022 the year of normalisation within the framework of regional changes.” Turkiye wants to reduce the number of problems with regional countries and open channels of communication. As the centenary of the founding of the republic approaches, he said, Turkiye wants to increase the number of its friends.

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“There is no absolute one-way line in foreign policy,” insisted Kalin. “There are ups and downs in relationships. We are always asked what prompted us to normalise relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel, and to shake hands with Egypt. All these developments are related to recurring problems that lose their impact over time and open the door to new possibilities.”

The presidential spokesman ended by saying that there is a need for a new balance of power in the world. “It will not be possible to build a new balance of power and world order in which everyone feels safe until the causes that led to the Ukrainian-Russian war are eliminated. It will be very optimistic to expect a permanent and sustainable end to the war. For this reason, a new global agreement and a balanced deal must be concluded between Russia and the West.”