US foreign policy challenges: Turkey
ISTANBUL // With the Turkish-Syrian border in turmoil, Ankara is likely to press the new US administration for more help to support the opposition to the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad.
Ankara, which sees Washington as its most important ally, hopes that after Tuesday’s election, Washington will take a more aggressive approach to the Syrian conflict, which will enter a third year about the time either Mr Obama or Mr Romney take the oath of office in January.
Both countries want Mr Al Assad’s regime to be replaced with a more democratic government, although they fear that extremist Islamist groups could be strengthened there. At the same time, both countries have been reluctant to supply weapons to rebel factions.
Turkey has said it is prepared to intervene in Syria if it feels its national interests are threatened, and it expects the full support of the US and other Nato partners.
Turkey also wants the US to help it deal with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a Kurdish rebel group that has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984. The insurgents have their headquarters in northern Iraq, beyond the reach of the Turkish military.
Updated: November 4, 2012 04:00 AM