President Abdullah Gul of Turkey said it was time for all nations in the Middle East to recognize with the departure of George Bush as president, there were now new opportunities to establish peace in the region. “We are in a new world. A new era has begun with the new administration in the US, with its message that it gives to the world.” Gul will shortly be meeting with leaders of Iran to discuss possibilities for new economic cooperation and he pin pointed the need to deal with issues of instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He believes President Obama is trying to break from Bush policies which made impossible any compromise in the region. Ironically, the new administration in Washington places Turkey and America on the same page of opposing nuclear weapon development in Iran.
Gul indicated he is prepared to offer his services as a mediator in establishing new relations between the United States and Iran. He also is working to bring together Syria and Israel. This new opportunity unfortunately arrives just as a right wing group assumes power in Israel which remains doubtful of any possibility for peace with Palestinians. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to make clear to Israel the time has arrived for new thinking and whatever happened in the past is over. The world wants new approaches to peace.