Differences between Turkey and Egypt must be ironed out

Turkey and Egypt should settle their differences. Other views: US intervention in Syria will save lives and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood must denounce violence and unite with the rest of the nation

Powered by automated translation

The continuing falling out between Egypt and Turkey is "no longer justified and simply meaningless", especially as western allies are preparing to launch a punitive strike on Syria, a situation that calls for key Middle East players to take a unified stance to brace against all sorts of eventualities, wrote Shamlan Yussef Al Essa in the Abu Dhabi-based daily Al Ittihad on Saturday.

Turkey has recently reinstated its ambassador to Cairo after recalling him on August 15, when tensions between Ankara and the Egyptian government escalated over the ousting, weeks earlier, of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"But Cairo announced that it will not return its ambassador to Ankara in a mere show of reciprocity, setting the precondition that Turkey stop its hostile declarations and interference in Egyptian affairs," he noted.

Rewind a couple of years, the Turks have strongly supported the Egyptian people's uprising and their right to a freely elected civilian government following the unseating of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

But, throughout the summer, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made highly critical statements against the new army-led leadership in Egypt and even against the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Cairo's reference institution in Sunni scholarship, the writer went on.

"That makes one wonder: why have the Turks become so unhappy after the people and the army rose up last June 30 and succeeded in scaling down the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and pushing them away from authority?"

Bewitched by the desire to see its own reflection in Egypt's Justice and Freedom Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) blundered: it traded off the Egyptian people for a closed-off political group that is a far cry from representing the majority of Egyptians.

Mr Erdogan's moderate Islamist party, the AKP, has been successful not because it has a religious background, but because it has succeeded in freeing the economy and bolstering competitiveness and equal opportunity. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt did not follow that line. Instead, they inaugurated their rule by tampering with the constitution and seeking to establish Sharia as the law of the land.

But, despite all these factors, there is no rational justification today for the continuing verbal hostilities between the two nations, whose importance to the region, to the Syrian crisis and to the Arab Gulf states is a matter of consensus.

"Gulf states have to take the initiative and work towards mending fences between the two countries. After all, Turkey plays major roles in hosting Syrian refugees, supporting the Palestinian cause and keeping Iran's revolutionary ambitions in check.

The US intervention would save many lives

Barack Obama prides himself on being the US president that got his country out of wars and it is obvious that he is deeply conflicted over the decision on how to deal with the crisis in Syria, said the Saudi columnist Abdulrahman Al Rashed in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

The Syrian case presents the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. Tens of thousands of civilians are massacred and millions have been displaced by a regime known for its brutality.

In addition to this, the Assad regime is weapon that Iran wields with ease and a staunch supporter of Hizbollah. To strike at it would bring added benefits to US security interests.

Despite these facts, Mr Obama hesitated for over two years to intervene. Even when he acquired incriminating evidence proving Al Assad regime's culpability in the recent chemical attack, he remains reticent awaiting the green light from the Congress.

But should Congress fail to back the motion to intervene, it would be giving the regime a licence to commit as many crimes as possible before its definite collapse.

"A US intervention would save a lot of blood, suffering and years of warring. The Iran-Iraq war lasted eight years and reaped over one million lives, whereas the Kuwait war ended within six weeks only as a result of US intervention," he noted.

Brotherhood needs to make fateful decisions

Egyptian authorities are dealing with the assassination attempt against the minister of interior last week as the beginning of a new phase in the confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood, opined Abdullah Iskandar, the managing editor of the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

"The attempt gives authorities a motive to tighten security procedures and expand the reach of emergency laws to include confronting terrorism. It also offers an alluring pretext to besiege the Brotherhood and their allies leading to a decision to ban them from political action," he said.

Such a decision would indeed be made easier, and even justified, in view of the growing violence that has become a staple in the Islamist group's protests in various cities, combined with armed terrorism in Sinai.

In pre-revolution times, Brotherhood leaderships clashing with the ruling authority of the time had one of two options: imprisonment or political asylum abroad. In both cases, they didn't have to radically review their group's ideology and operations.

Today, the Brotherhood are required to make a fateful decision pertaining to its future as a political group: either they are part of the Egyptian national fabric or an organisation that opted for violence and chaos to impose its authority.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk