Turkey and Lebanon: Erdogan and Mikati discuss regional stability

Press Highlights
2023-11-27 | 02:09
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Turkey and Lebanon: Erdogan and Mikati discuss regional stability
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Turkey and Lebanon: Erdogan and Mikati discuss regional stability

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati concluded his visit to Turkey on Saturday, culminating in a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Discussions centered on the unfolding events in Gaza, southern Lebanon and the looming possibility of the war spreading across the region.

As the acting head of the Lebanese government due to the presidential vacuum, caretaker Prime Minister Mikati holds a degree of legitimacy and strives to take preventive measures against any potential outbreak of war.

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan.
Mikati has previously acknowledged that the decision-making power regarding peace and war is not within his hands, a reality recognized not only by Turkey but also by Hezbollah and Iran.

Turkey, like other Western and Arab nations, shares concerns about the eruption of hostilities on the southern front. Mikati's visit to Turkey holds significance due to the special relationship between Beirut and Ankara. Turkey aims to play a role in the Middle East, prioritizing Lebanon's security and stability. Turkey also seeks to establish itself as a regional power that cannot be overlooked.

Despite its support for the Palestinian cause, Turkey is a crucial member of the NATO alliance and maintains special relations with Washington and the West. Moreover, Turkey has not severed its communication with Tel Aviv despite occasional tensions between the two.

During the meeting with Erdogan, Mikati openly discussed Israel's aggressive intentions, seeking Turkey's assistance in preventing the war from escalating and sparing Lebanon from destruction. Erdogan, in turn, emphasized continuous efforts to keep Lebanon out of the war, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of Israel's intentions.

Turkey has a vested interest in the southern situation, especially after participating in international peacekeeping forces since 2006. Any southern conflict would put these forces at risk, prompting Turkey to exert efforts to prevent the spread of war to the south and protect its soldiers from harm.

In summary, Mikati's visit to Turkey aimed to seek Ankara's assistance and intervention.

In response, Erdogan expressed genuine concern for Lebanon's situation and worked towards protecting its security and averting a devastating war.

While the southern front remains a focal point, there are reports of Mikati and Sunni leaders' concerns about the potential unruliness in the Sunni north in the absence of the Future Movement's leadership. Turkey is reportedly attempting to infiltrate northern Sunni regions, where small sympathetic groups align with Erdogan's ideology.

Despite the positive relationship between the Future Movement and Erdogan, the Sunni atmosphere remains rooted in the slogan "Lebanon First" and aligns with Saudi Arabia. There is serious apprehension in the north about the exploitation of Hariri's absence and Saudi disengagement from Lebanon, allowing "The Muslim Brotherhood" to consolidate its presence.

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Turkey

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Erdogan

Najib Mikati

Regional

Stability

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