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Ankara’s dramatic and positive shift toward Erbil is driven primarily by its aim to elevate its credentials as an energy transit hub, but is also in line with the AKP’s policies towards the domestic Kurdish issue. Regardless of the position of Washington, Ankara and Erbil now perceive their political interests as synchronizing with their longstanding economic interests. Yet Turkish and KRG authorities must still need to take a series of bold political decisions – such as either to accommodate or confront Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad. Moreover, if Syria breaks apart and an autonomous Kurdish region that favors pan-Kurdish unity emerges, Ankara may rethink its political decision to hold Iraqi Kurds close as economic partners.

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Matthew J. Bryza
Matthew J. Bryza

Ambassador (ret.) Matthew J. Bryza is a Non-Resident Fellow of the Atlantic Council.

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Foreword TPQ’s Summer issue, NATO in 2020 and Beyond: New Strategies and Frontiers, offers insights on the Alliance’s current challenges and future security trends, while offering a look into Euro-Atlantic relations in the coming decade. It is clear that as the international security landscape is rapidly changing, member states’ capabilities, resilience, and most importantly, their...
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