Issues

Turkey Floats Cutting Ties With U.A.E Over Peace Deal with Israel

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan / Getty Images

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Ankara is actively weighing suspending diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates for its achievement of a historic peace deal with Israel, Haaretz reported Friday.

The deal normalized diplomatic relations between the Gulf State and Israel in what experts in Washington—bar a few prominent Democrats and Obama administration alumniconsidered a region-changing brokerage. 

"For once, I am going to agree with President Trump in his use of his favorite adjective: ‘huge,'" one New York Times column read Friday.

Officials in Turkey, however, were not inclined to agree with such an assessment. A staunch adversary of Israel, Ankara expressed outrage at the deal. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that the history and conscience of the region will neither forget nor forgive the U.A.E.’s "hypocritical behavior."

Relations between Turkey and Israel have stalled in recent years, and the agreement further hinders cooperative prospects in the near future.

Meanwhile, Turkey has done little in recent months to ingratiate itself with NATO partners or other Western allies. A report earlier this week revealed top American lawmakers in the foreign relations space have been quietly exercising their veto powers to block weapon sales to Turkey due to its interest in acquiring Russian weapon systems, while some Republican lawmakers have endorsed sanctions on Turkey for its flirtations with Russia.

"Turkey is a NATO ally and yet is drifting largely because of Erdogan, away from the United States into the orbit of Russia," Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power Bradley Bowman told the Washington Free Beacon. "That is not the way an ally should behave, that is an ally not acting like an ally."