Turkish PM Erdogan Mediates In Middle East

The presidency of George Bush has virtually lost all credibility in the Middle East due to its blatant one-sided support for Israel. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, of Turkey, is attempting to step into the American vacuum of power by presenting himself as a neutral mediator who has the respect and confidence of both Israel and Palestinians. He is currently working to establish dialogue between Israel and Syria and might be able to expand his role to embrace a broader agenda dealing with Middle Eastern peace. Israel has close ties with Turkey, and, since Erdogan represents an Islamic party, he has the ability to reach out to diverse Muslim groups in the region as an indvidual who will not enter negotiations with a set agenda but is willing to encourage compromise.

Anaka might be uniquely quality by dint of its acceptability to key players in the region to jump start the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Israel political leaders trust Erdogan and might be willing to participate in discussions with Hamas if such talks were organized by the Turkish prime minister.

Perhaps, it is time for Condi Rice and Bush to step down and allow Turkey to step up in assuming leadership in the Middle East.